Thursday, January 31, 2013

Howdy from the Mountains

First of all, thank you to my family for the Christmas card and using pretty much the coolest picture ever of me. Just to let you all know, I do have power now and a hot shower (first time since leaving the CCM) because showering here in the cold is pretty much like straight up terrible.  I am liking it here more now. I don't sweat at all, either.  It is a little tough with a ward that just fights nonstop. I'm sure we'll figure out a way to stop that. On the good news side, we found a lady who wants to be baptized and she is super nice. I  thought she was a member already. There is also a dude that comes to all the activities but he's an eternal investigator because, well ... his wife is technically married to another dude. So they need a divorce first so that they can get married and then they can get sealed ... Which is the coolest deal ever!!!! I love the temple!!!!! You should all go there.

Other good news, our zone broke the record of families ever baptized here so it looks like we are either going to the temple or climbing Tajulmuco, the tallest mountain in all of Central America. How cool is that? Basically, I am down with either of the two options because I like climbing mountains and the temple is the coolest place you can be.

My companion is a good feller. In fact, he is super happy because we are working hard and he just wants to work but the problem is the ward doesn't want to work. I mentioned this before, but I have never seen so much drama in my life. They all hate each other and won't go to church. There are five families that go to different churches now because of all the fights and stuff. It is sad. I wish people could see the church not as the members. It is having a bad influence on the non-members. Ugh

Well, not a whole lot to say except that I live next to a freaking graveyard!!! SPOOKY... not really. Hahaha but graveyards here are weird. The dead people are under the ground. You just buy a hole in a concrete deal and then they just shove your coffin right on in! So I don't wanna be buried here.

I hope all is well. Hit me up if you have a chance because I LOVE letters. DEAR ELDER POR FAVOR!!!!! Ya'll see that was some straight up Sanish! Haha I need to take some pictures soon because I don't have any to share. Well I love you all and thanks for everything.

Con amor
Elder Grant to major mission euro que ustedes conocen!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A New Area and a New Challenge

I'm now in San Pedro! It is also known as the mountains as in the coldest place in Guatemala and it is really cold! It is super pretty here but super cold. Like, I sleep in my poncho and sweats with a hat!!! It is really close to Xela (Quezeltenango). I dig it. It is a little scary because it is far away from Reu and so President is never here and there are a lot of rules broken.
This is what I sleep in. It is cold up here.

I am not training, like I was supposed to. My new companion is Elder B. Instead of training, my buddy, Elder Z, stole my trainee. He got to go to Mazatenango which is okay, I guess. :) Instead, I have been called up to San Pedro but, President Maravilla and the Assistants changed it. They wanted a strong hard worker here. And now I'm here in this area. This area hasn't had a baptism for a year. That just means I need to work hard which is exactly what I'll do. I know that President has put his trust in me and I will work hard so that I don't lose that trust and I'm glad to help. Time goes by so fast when you are working hard which I like to do lots and lots and lots. It's going to be a big adventure. It is a hard job motivating eleven other missionaries to work and not play. Yesterday we set a date with a girl so that is a start.

Well, my Spanish is coming along just fine. Basically I can say anything I want and I understand almost all of it. I love it here. The pictures are from when we went to the waterfall near San Isidro. That was a fun day.

So, I love ya saludas a la famila. Oh by the way, I sent a package home for ya'll. It's you Christmas stuff. Hope you like it.

Love ya tons!!!
Con Amor,
Elder Grant

Waterfall pictures from a couple weeks ago.

My zone pals.
Cool carving thingamajig.
Look it's Wendy's! Yummy.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My Little Letter/Testimony Thing

Well to start this week off, I know why I am here in Guatemala. I was called by a Prophet of God to preach the Word of the restored gospel. And, although I like to have fun in my day, I know why I am here and will work hard until I can't do anything else. I know that there are people here that have been specifically prepared for me and if I'm obedient I can help these people come into the Gospel. My testimony has been strengthened a ton. When I left on my mission, I only had a shared testimony from the family but now I can say "yes" I have my own testimony and it cannot been shaken. I love this Gospel and I love that I can share it. I can also look at the amazing things that God has given me. I love people. I just do. This love makes it so much easier to talk to a person for the first time. I am also in a beautiful place. Today we went to some waterfalls (I can't find my adaptor for pictures). I felt the Spirit the most I have in my entire life. We sang hymns at the base and it was super cool. God put these beautiful things on the earth for us to marvel at, just for our benefit, not for his. It is all for us, just like the sacrifice of Cristo. Christ gave his life and suffered so much so that we can live again in peace and happiness. But none of that did he do for himself. All his pain and suffering was for us. Same with God. He gave up his only begotten to come here and die. I know I could never give up a child to die for someone else. I can't even imagine the pain He went through seeing His child suffer and die. And it was all for us. I guess this is my little letter/testimony because that is what I do. jajajaja

All I could think of, at the waterfall, was, "were there Lamanites here?" It was so cool, like the perfect place for weird old gods to worship. We had a ton of fun and found this weird carving in the middle of a mountain. We found an old abandoned house with rusty stuff in it. Also, there was a hot spring which was the bomb.

My convert family is AWESOME!!! He wants a calling and they just went to the temple as a couple to do baptisms. They loved it a ton. I'm super excited for them. And because I baptized a family I get to go to the temple again. Woot!!! Funny story about them though. Turns out the wife was a member from, well, a few months before I was born. So, she is doubly clean of her sins now. She was scared to tell us because she thought it meant that we wouldn't teach her anymore. But it is all good. Pres. Maravilla said it 's no problem. But it is a funny story and will be a good story to tell everyone.

Well, I love you all. I am so proud of the twins. They are such good girls. Keep working hard girls! Enjoy high school. I am proud of McKenna for working so hard. She is hard working, tough, and smart. I look up to all three of my little sisters. You are all one of the reasons that makes being away, out here in the mission, worth it. Thanks for your wonderful examples!

Con amor,
Elder Grant

Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Short Update

Well to start out, I worry, sometimes, about the girls being in high school. I forget how old they are -it makes me feel old. I send emails, sometimes, to Laggy to see how they are doing. He gives me the update and let's me know if anyone is being mean to my little sisters. So, even though I am a billion miles away from Idaho, I can still totally help my sisters out.

Today we pretty much had the greatest P Day, or p dei as it is spelled in Spanish. We went to a super rich member's house and just sat on the bank of the river and talked for hours. Then we started playing volleyball. And then we had a water fight with water balloons until everyone was soaked. The family was just watching us so we soaked them, as a zone. Holy cow I have never had so much fun. We ate and played with a piƱata. We just kept playing and having fun.

Our new convert did bless the Sacrament and it was awesome! He did so great. I was all smiles when he was done. I also bore my testimony. A few days ago, I caught the true vision of missionary work and it is amazing! I decided that Spanish is super fun to speak. I love it.  I often think how just six months ago I wasn't able to speak a word. And now, thanks to God, I can basically speak anything I want.

We do have electricity, again. I love this area. I don't want to leave but it looks like the time has come. I will probably be leaving in 8 days.

Well, after this P Day, I am tired and we have to go to a Family Home Evening thing. Peace!!!

Well love ya a bunch,
Con Amor,
Elder Grant

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year

It was super bomb to listen to all your voices at Christmas. I was super pumped and I was wrong. I was baggy for a little bit longer than I expected. Well not baggy. I was content but laid on the floor, for like 20 minutes, and cried like a little baby! It's because my companion talked with his family for like 2 more hours and now I can't call people in our area because he used our minutes!!!!! haha. Sorry I talked so much and didn't let you guys get in a whole lot.  It was so good to hear your voices. How did you like Vladimir, the crazy guy, when he called you? He's a weird bugger but a good guy. 

I'm glad all is going well for you over there. I love you so much. Thanks for everything. Oh and yes we totally baptized that family! And even though they have been members for like a day they already want callings and the dad is going to bless the sacrament this next week. He is such a stud.  It is going to be hard to leave this area and leave them but I know they will go to the temple in a year and I will be there with them to see them sealed for time and all eternity! So I'm super happy about this. It as pretty much one of the coolest things ever. 
Family baptism. A wonderful day.
Collin, Elder Apaza, and the family they baptized.
Baptism Day

The earthquake yesterday .... I didn't even feel it. I don't know why but I didn't.haha.  Well today we played soccer and I sweated a bunch because today is super duper hot. Maybe I can lose a bit of the fat I have. Christmas was bomb. We just blew up the sky with fireworks with our neighbors! We will do it again tonight and everyone is going to be drunk except us  because we are Mormons!!! Man I love it here.  It was hard at first but this area is speeding up and I think we can totally baptize at least five more people in these next two weeks -  a big goal but with the Lord anything is possible! Well love ya all. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AND A LATE MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Con amor,
Elder Grant

Elder Segard and Elder Grant

Christmas Phone Call

We were able to talk to Collin on Christmas with a cell phone that he had borrowed from some members. We spoke for an hour and fifteen minutes. It was truly the best Christmas present EVER!!! All five of us just sat around and listened to him talk about how much he loves the people, the work, and the country. Yes, there are many different things there like garbage everywhere. People just throw things out on the street and so the garbage jut sits. To clean their apartment, they sweep the floor, open the garage door/wall, and push it out. How convenient! Another difference, it is VERY hot while we are experiencing our coldest temperatures. He talked about sitting outside his house because there isn't any ventilation inside which makes it even hotter.

We were able to hear him speak Spanish to a little girl that didn't want him speaking English. She didn't like not knowing what he was saying. She kept interrupting so he just walked down the street. He also has forgotten a few English words. That is a wonderful sign that the language is coming along. A couple times he spoke to a recent convert of theirs that has fallen back into his drunken state. Breaks Collin's heart. We also spoke to his companion, Elder Apaza, who didn't understand one thing we said and we didn't understand anything he said. That was kind of funny but we were able to experience, if only for a brief second, how Collin felt for weeks when he first entered the mission field.

He didn't want to talk much of home, which made us happy, because that meant he isn't thinking of home. He loves being on his mission. He loves his companion. They are having great success together. He was thrilled to tell us about a family that was being baptized   this past Saturday. He loves them. There was a recent quote given in our Sacrament Meeting that went something like this, "A missionary gives up two years of his family to bring eternity to another." That is why he is in Guatemala. That is why we let him go.

Our phone call was truly a Christmas blessing. We cannot wait for Mother's Day to make the call again. Perhaps he will be somewhere that has a computer in the town, maybe even electricity - dare we even wish? Doesn't really matter. We just love to talk to him.