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