Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Week 4: The Joy and the Sorrow of 2

Elder Roberts' Guatemala CCM Branch

So I have officially been out a month and I swear it feels like I should be going home, probably because it´s pretty much the same stuff over and over. Sunday and Wednesday have become the highlights of the week for me. 

We had a really fun beginning of the week that was also kind of sad because Elder Stahlie left for home and Elder Solomon, one of the "rocks" in our district was really down about it, and that kind of brought all of us down because he is usually so happy. With the new transfer of missionaries we all became one big district with the group I came in with which was super cool; but then, right when we were all getting used to each other, we got split and we LOST Elder Solomon to the other district! BAM! Gut punch! He's still kind of his happy self, but the happy giant isn't so happy anymore. So, we have been trying to cheer him up with scriptures and with pulling a few pranks on the new Elders.   He is doing well now and is starting to be the Solomon of old! 

Kollin and Braeden arrived, having my family in the CCM is super cool. It was really kind of aggravating the day they arrived because the teachers wouldn't let me go greet them! I had to wait which wasn't too bad, but still they are my cousins! We took a picture in the hall and I have been trying to be an example as the Zone Leader of our Rama (Branch). Kollin is a District leader so it's really funny to see him in these mostly Spanish and all Spanish meetings because I must have looked the same not so long ago! 

We have been having a lot of fun and we pranked Kollin with the same prank the older guys got me with! It was funny because he had read my blog and still fell for the prank! It was hilarious! 

We have had a lot of fun progressing in the language and to see Elder Meek progress. I have had to stop talking as much and it´s hard, because I can hear what I feel prompted to say and I want to say it! Still, I know my companion is receiving similar revelation so I have to wait my turn; because the teacher has pulled me aside and said something along the lines of "let him talk or I´ll stop responding to you in our investigator lessons." So, I have obliged and it is hard, because Elder Meek is like Elder J Tyler Christensen from The District 2 missionary videos. He waits until he is sure and certain that what he is about to say is from the spirit! But now we all have to wait so he can form the sentence and be sure it is what the spirit wants him to say. SO we don´t get full lessons done or they don´t flow as well as we want. Elder Meek is definitely getting better and that also means the lessons are getting better.  I´m super happy to have a companion who will most likely pass me because the teacher still is making sure I give him his part. 

We have received new rules and regulations about the schedules for missionaries. Our mission presidents make the schedule for the morning. We don't do language or companionship study in the morning anymore. It will now be when we feel it needs to be done during the day as a companionship! Planning is now in the morning, no longer at night. It's sounding pretty cool.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Week 3: A Tiger and The Butcher

A Tiger from "La Aurora" Zoo in Guatemala City

Officially a "Three-Weeker"

This week has been pretty hard! I had to say goodbye to some awesome missionaries who all go to the same mission together. They were the older Americans and they helped me so much with being homesick and my insecurities with the Spanish language.

In our practice lessons, Elder Meeks is the one who normally likes to pray because he says he struggles, but he doesn´t, his prayers always seem to be helping the investigator know that we care about them! And honestly, I can hold a conversation it´s crazy! Yeah, there is a lot of "despacio por favor" (slowly please), but I'm getting it. I can´t wait to help my cousins! I had some pretty spiritual moments this week and I feel like I have grown a lot! I can’t wait to see Kollin tomorrow, the President and his wife are really excited too because it is one of the first times they have had family together in the CCM!

Today (1/17/17) we went to the temple, the zoo, an artizani market, and WENDY's! Honestly, it was so good! At the market, I bought a leather hat. I hope I can wear it because while we were walking around it made a difference; people wanted to talk to me because I'm the big gringo in a nice leather hat! Sister Morris called me Crocodile Dundee and I laughed pretty hard when I saw my reflection. My camera died after the zoo today so after I charge the battery I´ll try to get a picture of me looking like Crocodile Dundee! The zoo was pretty sweet. I got some pretty cool pictures of a tiger who was in its cage -or something- roaring and looking at us through the bars. 

Elder Solomon is so funny he makes my day all the better when he cracks a joke in class. Here is something in Spanish for you... "Yo predicará el Evangelio de Jesucristo en Honduras". Elder Meek and I struggle right now in getting to an equal place in our knowledge of Spanish. If we had the same language level, then the teaching part would go better. Right now, I have to help him with sentences and words and our teachers are starting to say that I talk too much (and I kind of am) so I ´m trying to prep him during our companion study for upcoming lessons and questions which makes it hard for me prep for what I want to for the lesson. We have had a lot of progress in three weeks and we are only halfway done! It’s insane! 

Let me tell you about haircuts, from behind my shoulder Hermano Garcia said mine was too poofy. SO yeah, Braeden will probably need to get his hair cut when he arrives, and the barber here is terrible! We hope one of the new guys comes with some clippers because we don’t have any. It will be a hard three weeks if we need to get a haircut by him. We call him the butcher! He only knows one haircut and one size! We were lucky that we had a missionary who was a barber in Peru before he came!  I got my haircut even though it´s "illegal" (against rules) in the CCM because a couple of missionaries went a little crazy with some clippers. But anyway, he did good and he only had time to do my sides and blend it, it looks pretty good even though it was rushed but anything is better than the guy at the CCM!

My cousins Kollin and Braeden will be joining me in the CCM tomorrow! (Guatemala Missionaries!)

Oh, and I haven´t told you about Elder Busby he´s in the other district and you'll never guess where he´s from... NEW ZEALAND! He´s one of the coolest guys. (NOT a Hobbit, apparently) We talk a lot about New Zealand and he wants to know about America because his first plane ride was to the MTC. 

I love the gospel and had some pretty hard struggles this week.

I prayed to feel comfort because I was feeling homesick

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Week 2: Blessings of Faith

President and Sister Morris of the Guatemala CCM
SO, this week has been a roller coaster with some pretty scary stuff and some spiritually high days. My P-Days are really chill we have until 4:30 p.m. to play sports nap and clean our rooms. Usually around 11 a.m. our time we get to email (at least until next week then it changes.)

Last, Thursday was rough! We felt the freedom of P-day and pretty much got thrown back in the fire the next day. It was a tough day and didn´t help that I assigned us to clean the Elder’s bathroom on Thursdays. (nice guy, right!)

 Friday was really nice, I had a good time with my practice investigator and we learned a lot. Saturdays, too, are always exciting because we get to gear up for Sundays. (Think of Sundays as regular church days but Sunday school is us giving practice lessons.) In sacrament, we have to have a 5-minute talk prepared -no more no less- or we give another next week. It Really teaches you to manage your time, huh!?

I really loved Monday, it was a really spiritual day and I had an amazing lesson in Spanish. It was all Spanish, I stopped looking for the words I wanted and found replacements, I got my investigator to agree to read the book of Mormon and to allow us back! Elder Meek still struggles but he prays like a beast

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Week 1: First P-Day

Guatemala City Temple

SO, on my way to Los Angeles, the lady at airport security in Las Vegas stopped me because of the camera in my carry on - no big deal. 

The delay in Vegas was quiet I had no one there in Las Vegas at the gate but me. BUT, on the plane to LA I sat behind Meisha Tate the former-UFC champ. I considered a sleeper-hold or arm-bar but thought better of it; instead I just helped her with her bag when we landed. She said I was sweet. 

Once in LA I met two other missionaries, Elder Reyes and Elder Livingston. Elder Reyes is from Texas and is going to San Salvador and Belize. Elder Livingston is from San Diego and is going to San Salvador East Mission. We talked maybe ten minutes when other missionaries started appearing all around us! Soon we had about 20 missionaries in the gate area all from different places and only one actually going to my mission in Honduras. His name is Elder Staehli and he plays baseball too. If you can believe it, I struck him out when we played against Dixie my sophomore year in a tournament he still remembers! lol. 

Still, Staehli isn't my companion. That would be Elder Meeks, and he´s from Preston, Idaho, just North of Logan. He says, he played football and basketball, and is really chill. He makes me make all the decisions: where we go, what we teach, etc.... and it kind of irritates me because I want some input on lessons from him too! It doesn't help that he REALLY doesn´t know a lick of Spanish. (I at least know burrito and taco and enchilada: dad edit)