Quetzaltenango Guatemala

Quetzaltenango Guatemala

1.25.16 I am now in Ixtahuacan

January 25, 2016

Hey everyone! So like i said last time, i was going to have changes, and I did.......... I got changed to the second farthest area away in the mission!! It is called Ixtahuacan and we are 1 hour from the border of mexico. Here half of the people speak mam, an ancient mayan language similar to Quiche, but at the same time very different.  Here we are in a branch with 20 active members so it is a very small attendance, nevertheless, I love it! We are out here in the mountains, at least 1.5 hours away from the city, Huehue. Here there is no pizza or anything, but we do have a little neighborhood restaurant which has burgers that aren't too bad.

               So my comps name is Elder Sims, he is my first gringo comp in 11 months!! Its definitely gringo time. He is from Idaho and he is a huge football player and he measures 6.4! He only has 4 months in the mission, (2 changes), so he is fairly new, but he is super humble and excited to work hard. It seems like his trainer was doing some bad stuff here, so our first task has been to repair the member-missionary relation, and just the work in general. Our branch president died about a month ago, so this branch has been without a president or callings in general for a whole month!! I've been on the phone with the stake prez and it looks like this week they are going to call a new branch president which will be a huge blessing.

                This week was the week of the fare here in Ixta and it was insane. I have never in my life seen so many bolos (drunk people) in one place. There are even people who drive around throwing the lifelessly drunk bodies of people laying in the street into the back of the truck, they do it until they fill of the bed of the truck, and then they go to the edge of the city and just dump off the lifelessly drunk people in a little pile!! It is super sad, we even saw a couple of members getting wasted....... along with some recent converts of my comp which was super hard for him, so here in Ixta a lot of help is needed. HOpefully in these next couple weeks we can figure out what needs to be done.

                 This week we went with a guy named marcus who is 40 years old, he has been visiting with my comp for about 3 months now, but he has never committed to baptism. So we went with him and just explained real good the book of mormon and how he would receive his answer, one or two miracles later, he accepted the baptism date for the 27th of february!!! I asked him when he was planning on (testing) the church (go to church), and he said, i'm not going to test it, i'm ready to dive right on in!!!! It was awesome, my comp was so happy he couldn't contain himself. It was a cool experience, this sunday he is going to come with us to church.

                  So it looks like my comp and his trainer were visiting 2 little girls who are the nieces of an active member, and it looks like they are going to get baptized this saturday. So, this saturday we are going to have some baptisms which will be good for this branch, but my comp and I committed to each other that from here on we are going to be looking for guys that can receive the priesthood, and families. After we talked about that, we saw some pretty cool miracles.

                 Also we are going to be baptizing a 17 year old girl, her family was baptized a month or two ago but she wasn't because she was assisting the catholic church, but this week when we visited her for the 2nd time, she shared us her testimony about the book of mormon and committed to be baptized the 7th of february, so it looks like we are going to have another baptism on the 7th. This sunday she came, and she even brought one of her catholic friends!! She is already sharing the gospel! This week we will be visiting with Elsa (the girl who we have been teaching) and her friend who came to church with her on sunday.

                This week we were working really hard and we saw a lot of cool miracles. We also saw some really weird stuff like the pickups that take away drunk people, to clowns that actually were not drunk and taught us about their dark clown magic and their spiritual transformation that takes place when they enter their costumes, to a whole bunch of other stuff, it was a very interesting week.  

                 I love the mission, i am learning so much every day, and I am so glad that I will now have a chance to work with a gringo up in the mountains again=) This work is hard, but it is hard because it is true. I love being in Heuheu and being able to work my hardest every day searching for the chosen people. I love you guys a ton also, and a shoutout to Taylor for her birthday which happened 3 days ago! Happy birthday!=) I am sure you guys had a huge celebration, and i am sure it was a blast! Have an awesome week everyone, keep the faith!! Love you all!

Elder McLeod

1.18.16 Quick Email Before Changes

January 18, 2016

Hey everyone i've got some news, looks like i've got changes tomorrow!! I only have one change here in this area, haha honestly we aren't sure whats going on, maybe im going to train or something, but it looks like i'm packing up and moving out of Xela. I'm not sure exactly where i will be going, but i have a feeling that i will be going back to HueHue but in a different zone.

                Carlos didn't get baptized cuz he didnt pass president smith's interview...... but in 2 weeks they will be talking again and it looks like he will be baptized after that, so ill send you guys pics when he gets baptized.

                Selvin is getting baptized the 30th and it is 100% going to happen unless he doesn't pass the interview............ haha but he will.  pictures will be sent when it happens.

               This week was an amazing week for us, we had 8 people in church with us! 2 families and a couple of individuals, we were super stoked and so were the members! This area is so awesome, i already love it so much, it's too bad that i am going to be having changes tomorrow=( But hey at least my people are going to get baptized this month and in February.

              This is super short because we are running around like crazy, but this next week i will have a lot more to tell you guys, and more time write. Love you guys a ton, keep going to church, and get ready for the super bowl!!!!! Haha i don't even know who's going, but you do so you better get ready for it.


Elder McLeod

1.11.16 A week of little miracles

January 11, 2016

Hey everyone how's it going, hope you guys had another great week down in AZ, and all over the place. This week was pretty cool, we had a bunch of tiny miracles that i'm going to explain right now.

                So about 3 weeks ago we were contacting and we found a less active guy, about 21 years old, that had been baptized at the end of 2014. He was baptized in another area, but lives here in our area (exactly what you are not supposed to do). So we have been teaching him for a little bit now and we play basketball with him every monday. This week was so cool though because this week he received the aaronic priesthood=) He is now active, and attends church here with us where he should have in the first place. He has been talking to us about serving a mission which is super exciting! His name is Joseph

               But Joseph didn't get the priesthood alone, Diego did also!!!! it was so cool, the both of them back to back got the priesthood, callings, and assignments to bless the sacrament this next week!! This week Diego and Joseph are going to the temple to do baptisms for the dead, Diego is taking his member girlfriend to be baptized for his mom that died 10 years ago, he is super excited!

                This week Carlos completely changed his life, he said goodbye to his girlfriend's, stopped consuming things that are against the word of wisdom, he stopped talking with swear words, and he even acts and thinks differently! This week an evangelic pastor contacted Carlos in the street and invited him to his evangelic church, but carlos said, ¨¨sorry but no, I go to the Mormon Church.¨¨  his baptism is scheduled for this saturday, that is, if he passes the interview, we are pretty nervous about that because of his rough past, but he is super repented and wants to be a missionary, he even asked us for a white shirt and tie so that next week he can go to church looking good.

                The Sanchez family fame to church this week! They are progressing good, they are also going to come to our baptism this saturday so we are excited. they are reading the book of mormon and are going to church now so we will see what happens.

                 This week we had a ton of little miracles, honestly these past couple of weeks have been awesome! We have seen so many miracles it's crazy, the coolest thing is when someone gets to see the fruits of their labors as in baptisms, we hope to keep baptizing!! We have plans to keep baptizing but we will see what happens. I am growing and learning so much, i love the mission, it is such a blast!! I love you guys, i'll send pics next week when i have some to send to you. Thanks for your prayers and emails, keep the faith!!


Elder McLeod

1.4.16 We Just Opened Up The City Of Alma.......... What

January 4, 2016

Hey family and everyone I love hows going, happy new years!!!!! Cant believe its already 2016, crazy how fast 2015 went by, loved every minute of it, but now it's time to focus on this upcoming year. This week was an awesome week filled with miracles and baptism hype, yes we had a baptism, first one our area has had in 7 months!!!! Super pumped, but we will talk more about that in a sec
              So as the title indicates, this week my comp and I opened up the city of alma for proselyting. No joke, so here in Xela pretty much every book of mormon historian has told us that the city of Xela has a TON to do with the book of mormon. About 8 months ago i told you guys about a city that was right next to zunil called Almalonga. This city is said to be the city of Alma the prophet from the book of mormon. It has always been called almalonga, it's a very very old word from the ancient languages of Guatemala, so ya Alma and his people lived right next to where I live right now. So, about 10 years ago, the people of almalonga burned 2 mormon missionaries alive............ so they closed the area for good. BUT, there are a lot of people and members who have been talking to us about opening the area again because of its new potential. So, my comp and I had a conference with the mission president this morning and we explained our case for an hour, and we debated the pros and cons for 30 minutes, and at the end of everything, we have decided to open up the city of alma for missionary work again............................ we opened up the city of alma baby. So starting this week, we will be discussing in ward council how we are going to be working in almalonga, we are all super excited!!
                 Another thing, we might be opening up the tiny branch that existed at the base of the volcano. IN our conference with president, we also brought up the topic of the closed branch in Yanos de pinal, the little branch by the base of the volcano, and president approved our plan!!!! Now we are going to have a conference with the stake president this sunday night, just us 2, president smith, and the stake president, and we are going to try and open up that branch again. It was closed down 3 years ago, but it had 60 active members assisting in a little rented house every sunday................ we will see what happens.

                Diego got baptized!!!!! His baptism was super spiritual, a ton of people came which was awesome including investigators, it was such a special day! The spirit was so strong that he cried, he is super excited to be a member of the church! pictures below!
                my family in huehue got baptized too, i'm super excited for them!!! fotos below

               This week carlos asked us to learn about the articles of faith and he loved them and how direct they are. This week the bishop in sacrament meeting said to the congregation, ´´if lehi were here right now with us, what would he tell us to do?¨¨  Carlos immediately responded, ¨¨he would tell us to keep the commandments and repent!!¨¨ haha Carlos is super awesome, love this guy, he always tell us when we are joking around, hey stop talking apostasy mucha! He is hilarious, he will be baptized in 2 weeks. Celica his cousin came to church too and she loved it.
                THis week we found a ton of new and very positive people to teach, he had a lot of little miracles happen this week to us. We were even blessed to reactivate a 21 year old guy! we brought him to the bishop who interviewed him, gave him a calling, and is helping him prepare his papers to serve a mission!!! We are so stoked.
                 New years eve was super normal, we had dinner with members, then went to the house. we obviously worked all day too haha, but the only thing out of the ordinary that we did was eat dinner with members......................and then we popped a sparkling cider in the house!!! Haha it was expensive, but no importa.
                 This week was awesome, honestly there isn't enough time to explain all of the miracles that we saw this week. We have been super blessed, we are in great health, and we are seeing the fruits of our labors. have a great start to january, love you guys a ton!! Have awesome weeks, keep the sabbath day holy.

Elder McLeod