Quetzaltenango Guatemala

Quetzaltenango Guatemala

6.29.15 A week of gringos!!!

June 29, 2015

Hey everyone how's it going, things here in Guatemala are great! The mission is awesome! Lovin it so much, i can't believe that it's already been 9 months, the time really does fly by when you are focussed on something. Just so yall know, my comp is from guatemala, but we have agreed to celebrate the 4th of July with PIZZA HUT, it will be a wonderful day!

             Caesar Chojolan is such a stud! When we went to visit him, he had a list of questions ready to go! He is reading about 10 pages a week, not a ton, but he is learning and feeling the spirit every time which is awesome.  So when we got there, we sat there for literally 10 minutes as he took us through and explained everything that he learned this past week from his studies. he told us that he likes the book because it is all true and it is something that we need to apply in our lives....... I wish that everyone understood it like he does! It is so hard to get this guy when he isn't working himself to death, that is the only thing that is holding him back from progressing faster, that and that he hasn't been able to come to church, but he did tell us that this next week he is going to be able, we will see what happens.

              Maryvell is progressing so fast!! She is so smart and awesome it's crazy, she came to church last week and loved every part of it. The problem is her dad who is extremely catholic, she didn't come to church this week because her dad literally wouldn't let her leave her house............. super sad, but the only thing we can do now is pray and tell her to bear her testimony to her dad, maybe that will soften his heart. So now that she isn't assisting, her baptism date is the 18th of July, Eventually she will be baptized, she already has a strong testimony and everything. Hopefully this week we will be able to work something out with her dad, maybe he will finally let her make her own decisions.

             Ok so someone that I haven't written about is this guy named Pablo Perez. This kid is 14 but looks 18! We have been teaching him off and on for about 2 months now, but just now he has started to progress! He is reading and praying, and he even came to church for the first time this last sunday!! He stayed all 3 hours and everything and loved it, he told us that he felt good and welcome so that's good. He has just now started progressing so there isn't a whole lot to report, but keep an eye on this kid because we feel like he is going to progress fast!

             Noemi, I haven't written about her in 2 weeks now. We didn't have the chance to visit her this last week........................... she is never home, she hasn't been coming to church either, right now she isn't progressing, but if we can visit her this week hopefully we will be able to get her to church this next week.

             So this sunday was the last sunday for the nurses, Sister Gunnel and Sister Jackson here in the mission!!! As they bore their testimonies, the spirit was strong and everyone felt that they DO NOT want to leave! They are awesome, the people here love them to death. It was an interesting weekend in general, Saturday something crazy happened. I was surprised by a friend of mine................. Bishop Martinez from the Green Field Stake in AZ!!!!!! He and his wife came to visit the nurses here in their last week in the mission, it was so cool to finally see a friend from good ole AZ! We ate lunch together and caught up on everything, I attached a picture below, it was the greatest surprise that i've had in months and months!! Sunday we all went to church, I think it was the first time in the history of Cantel that we've had 6 gringos in the chapel at the same time, haha it was a cool experience. Love those guys, it was so great to see some friends from home, thanks for the visit!!

              This week was tougher than usual, there were some crazy evangelical church parties that a ton of investigators went to, and a ton of people were sick, haha just random circumstances, but I know that next week is going to be a much better week! THis week was good, but next week will be better. Like coach Cornell always said, NEVER BE SATISFIED!! Love you guys, thanks for all the love, have a sick 4th of July!!!! We will be somewhat celebrating up here too!=)


ELder McLeod

6.22.15 A week of changes!

June 22, 2015

Hey family  and friends, hope you all had awesome father's day weeks!!!! This week was loco up here in the mountains, the rains have stopped for a little bit and I am a little sunburned, but I am happier than ever. It was super sad when the kid had to go home for medical treatment, but he will be back soon and is in good spirits.

         My new comps name is Elder Caal. He is from Coban, about 8 hours north of the mission where we are at. He is a really awesome guy, he studied 3 years of english and high school and wants to go to BYU! This week was our first week together, but we tore it up!!! We work really well together and really effectively, he is also super funny and is not prideful.

          This week Elder Call and I went and taught Maryvell. We taught her about the importance of the sabbath day and in obeying it. She really wants to get baptized and is super excited for the 11th of July which is her baptism day. We went back like 2 days after we had taught her, and to our surprise, she wasn't at work. Turns out, she had been working on sundays previously, but after we taught her, the next day she quit her job!!! And later on that day she ended up finding a better one really close to her house=)  WHat a miracle!!!!!! She came to church this week and everything which was super awesome, stayed all 3 hours and loved it! She will be baptized the 11th of July and we are super pumped, we have already taught her everything and she is super ready and excited to change her life. She was a reference from a member, it is so cool being able to watch somebody go from not knowing anything about the church to being ready and willing to be baptized=) She will be a true convert, not just by water, but by the spirit.

             We visited Dilma this week, she couldn't go to church again with us, but she is super positive so we keep on fighting! We had a really sick lesson with her about faith, the spirit, and why God works in mysterious ways. She is reading the book of mormon and has a desire to know why God took her baby son from her, the plan of salvation really has been a key with her. She has many questions about life after death, and about what she can do right now. She literally asked us, what can I do right now? This reminded me of a story in Acts 2 when the investigators of the apostles literally ask, what can we do right now? So we invited her to continue to read and pray and repent and always be worthy of the spirit. She accepted it all and is willing to change her life, she is awesome! The only problem is that she is difficult to get into the chapel sunday morning, but it's a process.

               We visited Caesar Chojolan this week also. He has been reading the book of mormon every day by himself and praying! When we got to his house, he recounted us the whole story of Laban and the sword and the bronze plates detail by detail! He is reading, but really is studying every little bit which is awesome. He told us that he prays every time, but hasn't received his answer, but he doesn't feel bad when he prays about the book he told us. It's a process, and we are super excited for him, this week on wednesday we are going back to teach him and his family together for the first time!!!! We are so stoked. This guy really is gonna be baptized if he keeps up showing his faith with a sincere heart!!!

             We had a ton of lessons this week which was awesome!!! We have a lot of new people that we are starting to teach which is great, The members really are giving us awesome references which really helps a ton, if you know someone who isn't a member but needs........... something else in their life, call the missionaries!=) Haha its so true though, the work is tough, but without the members it is even tougher!!

            Sorry this email is so short, we are out of time and we have to go, but this week was awesome and things are only getting better. I love the mission, i love the work!! We are in good health, lacking a bit of energy, but working hard so the blessings just keep coming in. I love you all, study the scriptures, pray, do the things that you have to to feel the spirit more. Love you, hasta ver until next week!!!!


elder mcLeod

6.15.15 A week with cool experiences and bad news

June 15, 2015

Hey everyone whats up!! Hope you all had an awesome  productive week, I know that we did. Things are really going up here, we are learning to love the people and the culture more and more everyday. I love the mission, I am lucky because really I am in the best mission in the world=) Ok well here we go!!

           This week something surprising happened with Hermana Doris. We didnt have a chance to visit with her and teach her because she was super busy, but this sunday when she came to church she brought her boyfriend!!!! he is not a member and doesnt like members so it was super surprising that he came. We all thought that they were going to split up, but I think that in order to not split up with her he is starting to come to church haha, but at least hes coming to church. He seems like a nice guy, i could definitely see him one day in the future accepting the gospel in his life. Since this was unexpected, we will see if they end up splitting up after all, maybe they will continue together and eventually get married................ and enter the temple! haha we are a long ways away from that, but miracles happen with pray and fasting!!

          Maryvella! This week we had a family home evening with her and her family in her house! It was the first time that other members of her family have openly talked with us, and it actually went really well. We brought another family to do the family home evening with us and it turned out really well. After we did the family night the father of Maryvella said something a little surprising, he said, ''thank you all for coming tonight, but i just wanted to tell you all that my family is a catholic family. My daughter cant assist your church becuase she is catholic im sorry.'' After he finished, Maryvella said, ''I am 19 and I will make MY OWN DECISIONS.'' Way to go Maryvella!!!! We dont want problems of course, but Maryvella knows its all true and wants to get baptized, she is so awesome!=) She will make her own decision to get baptized the 4th of July, she just needs to start attending church and she will be ready! She already has agreed to keep the commandments and cant wait to enter the temple and do baptisms for the dead, she is so ready!

          Caesar Chojolan is a guy that I contacted with Etcheto about 3 months ago, but this week he finally started progressing! He is reading one chapter of the book of mormon everyday!!!!! It's a miracle, he didn't read anything for about 3 months, and just now he is starting to really read and have a desire to know if it is true or not. He told us that he was talking with his brother about the plan of salvation and about a living prophet and his brother got all excited and wants to learn!! So this next week when we go back on wednesday we are going to be teaching hermano caeser and his brother and his family also!!! He set up 3 times a week that we are going to visit him and his family so that we can monitor/ help them in their study of the book of mormon and teach them more. he even saide that this next sunday they might be able to come, I hope that by this next sunday they will be able to come, it would be such a cool experience! The gospel is growing and touching the lives of the people here, its so cool to be blessed enougth to be right here in the middle of it!

           Noemi. Noemi is progressing really well. this week there was an activity in our chapel for the youth and she came, but because she was sick she couldnt play at all............. perfect opportunity to teach. So I sat down with her one on one while everyone else was playing ball in the background and had a solid lesson about tithing and offerings. She just kept asking questions and telling me how they do it in her church, then she would ask more questions which is awesome! AFter we read a couple of scriptures and talked for a bit she was completely surprised at how her church conducts its tithes and offerings, she agreed to everything that we talked about and wanted to study the scriptures and pray about it! She even told some of the youth that I talked with after that she agrees with everything that we do and she is surprised that her pastor takes a little bit from the tithes and offerings. She is progressing really well, she just needs to continue to read and pray. We could teach all day and use scriptures and evidence and everything, but she needs to read ponder and pray if she wants a real personal testimony.

           So i guess its time for some bad news, my comp the kid has been diagnosed with some bad stuff and needs to get some medical treatment. The food here has messed him up a bit and the treatment that he needs can not be provided here, he will be returning to his house this wednesday in the morning to begin treatment. It is predicted that he will return in 2 to three 3, and that he will not need reassignment but will come back to this mission which is a huge blessing. We found out this morning and we are really bummed out, especially him. But we talked about it, and now he is ok, he is excited that now he will be able to help the missionaries teach his family and baptize them!! That would be super cool if he got to baptize his dad mom and siblings=) He is looking on the brightside and so am I. Even though I am going to lose my first son, he will come back in 2 to 3 months and Ill see him again=) So............ we still dont know if I am changing areas or if they will be putting me in a 3 some until the changes in 1 week. Maybe someone will come to this area, maybe they will close the area, Im not sure. All I know is that things are happening here in Cantel and I would be super sad if we had to leave and close the area. We will know as of tomorrow night, haha Iv only had one normal change and it was when Elder Cano was born, even though I don't like tons of changes, it is always exciting for something new to happen.

               I am super blessed that I am still here, in good health, working hard, and feeling the spirit everyday. I know that the lord works in strange manners to bring to pass salvation to as many souls as possible. I know that Cano will be ok, please keep him in your prayers as I keep him in mine. Miracles are happening here in Cantel, I would hate to leave, but I will go and do the things which the lord hath commanded, because wherever I go there are more souls ready for salvation!!!! Love you all, thanks for the love and support, have an AWESOME fathers day this week! Shoutout to the best dad ever, thank you so much for all of the love and support, Hope that you have the best fathers day ever, Ill be rootin for you all the way up here in the Mountains!!!!! Love ya, keep the faith, hasta ver!!

Elder McLeod

6.8.15 2 Weeks and the kid is all grown up, and 2 weeks until changes!!!!

June 8, 2015

Wellllllllll looks like another week has passed by super quick, up here time just isn't the same like it was down in good ole AZ. Hope you all had awesome weeks, up here the kid and I are loving life, the area, and the mission! This week we had a lot of cool things happen to us, i'm gonna jump right into it.

           So this week was fast sunday as  you all know, so really it was a great opportunity to teach the investigators what is the law of the fast and then invite them all to fast in order to receive their answers to their prayers! So, I'll start with Noemi, she is progressing really well, but her problem right now is that she is lacking a little bit of faith. Her family is all jehovah's witness, this religion is famous because it tends to be a little bit more evidence based and not faith, so really she is struggling with that right now. Soooooo, we invited her to fast about it and come to church (like always), and she did it! iT was awesome, and testimony meeting was great, she had to leave right after the meeting so we didn't get to talk much, but this week we are going to go back and see how her experience was exactly and what she felt during the meeting. She is progressing well, but she will NOT agree to a baptism date, she lacks a little bit right now in the faith section, but that's ok! We are helping her everyday, and she is slowly and surely getting better and completing the compromisos.

         We also invited Eliseo to church this week and he came! He usually doesn't come because he has to work in the corn fields, but this sunday he didn't have to and he came! He only is 18 years old and he works with a bunch of grown men in the fields, what a stud!!! But he came to church and sat right next to me in the sacrament meeting. We had a friend of his sit on the other side of Eliseo, so that when he would take out his phone to play games, his friend would snatch it out of his hands and tell him to pay attention!!!!!=) hahaha it worked perfectly because he eventually payed attention to the speakers and listened to their conversion stories.  After about 20 minutes in the meeting, he leaned over to me and whispered, ''I've visited every church here in Cantel, and I feel good in every church, but here i feel different, i feel more calm, relaxed, and I can feel something different.'' What an awesome statement that was!!!! I explained that he was feeling the spirit, he must have liked the feeling because he ended up staying for all 3 hours!!! He is reading the book of mormon and progressing really well, I just hope that he gets baptized and doesn't get attacked from his all evangelical family!!

          So the culture here in Guatemala is very different than it is in the States, here the men assert dominance over their wives, and whatever they command them to do they HAVE to do, or sometimes they receive physical punishment, it is super super sad, and we saw it this week. We contacted this lady by knocking on her door, she seemed super excited and positive and invited us in to teach her! We were super stoked, we started with the restoration and how the family is super important, she seemed really into it............ until her husband walked into the house. He asked her to come with him for a sec and didn't even look at us, they went out of the room and talked for about a minute, and after about a minute he left and walked right out the front door and she walked over to us bawling her eyes out telling us that today she can't accept us in her house and that she was super super sorry. I felt sooooooooooooooooo bad and wanted to help her, but really the best thing that we could do was leave the pamphlet of the restoration, challenge her to read it, and leave. I sincerely hope that nothing physical happened, it seemed like it was just harsh words, but really how sad to think that the husbands treat their wives in that manner here in Guatemala. It's a different mindset and culture, and I am sure glad that this type of disrespect isn't as prominent in the states as it is here.

           This week we got a new Elder here in our mission named Elder Ferrari, Dad he is from Brasil, Sao Paulo norte, he is super tall and is such a stud! I don't know if maybe you remember a family named the Ferrari family, he was born into the church so maybe you knew of a young couple with this last name and the wife was expecting or maybe didn't have any kids. He is the only braziliano here in the mission which is super cool!

            Hermana Doris one of our investigators has had some crazy stuff happen this week! She has attended church every sunday for months and months, but she isn't completing with a couple of the commandments so she can't be baptized. But, this week she talked a lot with her boyfriend and they aren't going to get married!! What a relief, he is not a member and he hates members of the LDS church, so it isn't the best environment. She is the mom of the kid Johnson that we baptized a couple of weeks ago. When we talked with her she told us that her plan is to marry in the temple, and after a couple of questions that we asked, she told us that she knew that she wouldn't be able to do that if she were to marry this guy. They haven't officially split up, but it looks like things are going to end between them soon!! What a miracle honestly!! We have been praying for her since I've gotten here, and maybe she will be baptized this month, but we will see. RIght now we are just teaching her all of the lessons and helping her to feel the need to split up with this guy. We love this family so much, I would love to be here to see them get baptized and follow the example of Jesus Christ!!

           Just an update on the area, it has been raining nonstop for the past week, the natives say that it's going to be like this until October!!! The weather everyday is cold with the clouds at our ankles literally they walk the streets also, and the rain is CRAZY. Its awesome and I love it, but it just makes everything a little bit more interesting haha. So i guess we've entered the rainy season!

             This week my comp and I really focussed on contacting more people in the street and we had an awesome experience! When we made the decision to do it more, the first day we did it we contacted a guy named Rolando within the first 10 minutes, this guy is the cousin of a bunch of active members here in our branch!! He has always been interested in the church, but he has never had a reason to go. So when we contacted him and ended up teaching him a lesson just a few days later and he is SUPER POSITIVE! He said that he wants to change his life and he wants to be a member!!! Right now he is having problems with his wife and his kids, and he needs help. When we taught him the restoration and the importance of the family he LOVED it, he wants it to be a part of his life. he couldn't come to church this sunday, but this next sunday we are going to bring him for sure!!

            This week was awesome, it was a hard week of just go out and work, but good things are happening!!=) I love this area and I pray that I dont have changes in 2 weeks, but if I do, I know that I will be in the right place. I love you all, keep studying your scriptures and praying everyday as a family!! Love ya all, have a great week!!


Elder McLeod

6.01.15 A week of little miracles!

June 1, 2015

Hey everyone whats up! Hope you all had awesome weeks, the kid and I definitely did. Things up here are getting exciting but are as difficult as every, but we will press onward! This week we had a couple of really cool experiences, I guess I'll start with some of those.

           This week we visited with a single mom who has 2 little girls, her name is Lucky. They live right above our house which is great because they are super close, we went and we taught her more about how she can find more peace in her life (she had asked us to teach her that the last time that we visited her). Towards the end everything was going good until she straight up said, ´´ I don't believe in Joseph Smith, and I do not believe in the Book of Mormon.´´ Haha my response was, it's because you have never read the book or prayed about Joseph Smith once in your life! We talked about how she can receive her answers for a while, and she eventually agreed to read the book of mormon and pray about joseph smith everyday. Lucky is a SUPER stubborn lady, but we are not going to give up on her! She accepted our challenge, now we will have to wait and see if she does her part.

            This past monday night we had our usual FHE with some of the youth and one of their nonmember friends. This time was different than every time before, this time our lesson had a really cool impact on the youth. This time we talked about attributes of christ and how we can become more christlike, and be examples for our families. IT was super awesome cuz all of the youth shared and participated. In the end a bunch of people bore their testimonies including the nonmember friend, dang how powerful it was!! My comp shared his conversion story and everything, I swear, I've never seen so many Guatemaltecos get emotional at one time in my life! Even the nonmember was in tears, it was so sick!=) The spirit was so strong, it felt like we were at EFY, haha it was that impacting. At the end I read one of my new favorite scriptures, 1 nephi 21. 15 and 16, it talks about how Christ will never forget us ever, because we are recorded into the palms of his hands. All in all it was an awesome night, I feel that the youth here in Cantel are true leaders, they are going to do great things here in the future, not just for Cantel, but for people all over.

            We also had the chance to visit with Carlos Chojolan, we were supposed to visit with him and his family, but things came up and the rest of his family couldn't be there. Carlos spent 45 minutes asking us questions about the church and the book of mormon which was so cool! He reads every day and already knows it's true, he just can't assist the church for a while, but when he can he told us that he will. At the end, he told us that he loves the way that we pray, haha never heard that before=) He asked us to teach him, so we did, and he said the closing prayer and sounded just like a member of the church!! It was great, he wants to be a member so bad, now we just need his help in helping his family members feel the same difference and want to change their lives.

           This week Noemi came to church, Noemi is a girl of 18 years old that is investigating the church. She is reading and praying, not consistently like we preach to her, but she is trying really hard, and she came to church for the 2nd time this sunday! She is doing well, this week we are going to put a baptism date for the end of June with her, she just needs to keep on reading and praying and she will receive her answer!

            Maryvella didn't come to church this week........... we were super disappointed because she really wanted to come, but her boss wouldn't let her take 1 hour off of work to come to church. She has a baptism date for the end of June and she is excited for it, but if she can assist church she can't be a member. We are going to keep on fighting with her and explaining the importance of the sabbath day. She is super smart and really wants to be baptized which is so awesome!
           We visited with a lot of people this week, but not a lot came to church. That is the hardest part, teaching someone and watching them progress really well, and then something happens and they can't or just don't come to church, it can get a little frustrating sometimes, but we will keep fighting! I know that great things are happening here in Cantel, we just need more time. Changes are in 3 weeks and a lot of people are telling me that I am going to have changes, but I sure hope not. I can't believe that the kid is almost all grown up, haha he is almost finished with his training and is such a stud, couldn't image just leaving him in 3 weeks! Love you all, thanks for the emails and the letters and all of the love! You are the best, can't wait to hear from you all when you've got some time to send a quick email. Love ya, until next week!

Elder McLeod