Monday, October 5, 2015

Familia de Oro (a golden family)

I had changes this week. I have left Alameda, San Marcos and I am now in San Bernardino (Sanber), Mazate Flores. I have left the mountains and I am now it the best zone in the mission. It baptizes the most out of all the mission and it is filled with a bunch of American restaurants (Wendys, Taco Bell, Subway, Pizza Hut, Burgur King, Little Ceasers, etc.) It is really great. the weather is completely different here though. I definitely don't need my sweatshirt anymore. During 2-5 it is so hot that i sweat so much that my glasses just fall off my face, but at 6 and on it is nice weather. It doesn't bother me though. The people here are a lot different also. they are less educated, but they are so much more humble and nice. We will just be walking and contacting and the family we will contact will always let us in and be really excited to meet us. For example, This week my companion and I were heading back to eat lunch, but on the path he told me that one day we should contact a house we were passing because they always stare at us when we pass. Although we were late for lunch, I told him that we should just do it now.It turned out that it is a Familia de Oro (a golden family) They told us that they will go to church this week, they don't go to a church, and they don't work Sundays so they can go to church every week. They were really happy to talk to us and gave us food. The family is a family of 12 people and they can all get baptized except for one (he is 7). We have a new house and all it has is a fridge, Pila, desks and beds. I am living out of my suitcase right now. My new companion is called Elder Goldinez and he is my favorite companion I have had so far. He is from Honduras and is the District Leader too (I was lowered this change). In Mazate, it is so prosperous that it has two zones Mazate Las Flores and Mazate Linclon. I am in Mazate Flores, but Hermana Clifford is in Mazate Linclon. I will not see here too much, but I did see her at the conference this Saturday, so we took a picture together. I don't have it; she does, she told me she will send it to me so if i can I will send it to you if she does send it to me, if not, she will probably send it home today sometime. I watched the conference in Spanish this time, but to be honest I didn't watch it all to much. I decided that I was going to spend more time getting people to the conference than watching it and my area is kinda far from he church (that is the hardest part of my area. the people are pretty poor and it is hard to get people to church unless we pay for them). My Spanish is fine though. I don't understand songs though and I cant listen to songs to improve that on the mission anyways, so I am not too worried about it. Other than that it is fine. I do learn more words in each area because every area has things that the other area didn't have. It is kinda like the micro-culture changes that are in each area. It's great here.

Monday, September 28, 2015

I also bought a jar of frosting and ate it, It was a bad idea...

There are changes this week. An assistant told me that I was going to have changes this week, but who knows what will happen. I have been kinda thinking that i would like to go to a harder area where the church isn't to strong and help out members and stuff. We found a lot of new people this week and a few of them seem pretty positive and some other investigators are progressing, It makes me happy.  We have one family that we are working with, the dad is really interested to learn, but it is hard for him to go to church Sundays. The wife wasnt too interested in what we were saying before, but this week we included her more in the lessons and she began to get really interested in the spirit world when we taught the Plan of Salvation. We also found a 16 year old girl who had a shirt that said Spencer W. Kimbal. It is a school here in San Marcos so we started talking to her about prophets and stuff and she got really interested. We are just trying to find time to talk to her parents. We made brownies this week too and gave them to our bishop. They love us now. I also bought a jar of frosting and ate it, It was a bad idea because it isn't probably the best thing to do, but whatever, no regrets.

Monday, September 21, 2015

This week was quite eventful.

This week was quite eventful. We went to Reu and had out District leader meeting. I love those because they help me out a lot, I get good food, and most of my group are district leaders (because we are all awesome), So I get to see them. They are all in the coast so I don't know them, that is the same reason that I do not know or have ever seen Hermana Clifford. My companion had a stroke of genius and came up with an idea to help get the members more excited about the work. We went to a bunch of members houses and explained to them how people from the Book of Mormon are real life heroes. We then gave them a Book of Mormon to give to someone and took there picture with it. We then made a giant poster of the pictures with a picture of the Avengers (but iron man and captain america are changed to Book of Mormon characters and told people to join the the team and it invites them to give out a Book of Mormon. We put it in the church and all the members really liked it, but the stake president got really mad at us and said that we were wasting time just taking pictures with members. I'm not sure why he is mad when we got a picture with his family and his family liked the idea. We also had emergency changes this week and Elder Cook is leaving the area. When we found out, we were all eating dinner with the bishop. Elder Cook doesn't want changes so the bishop offered to call the mission president and tell him no. He called him. It didn't stop the changes from happening, but he gave him more time to be in the area (like 3-4 days). We were also told that there will be more emergency changes later today. The changes are making the Zone Leaders and assistants stress out so everyone seemed kinda annoyed. It is definitely teaching me a lot about being a leader. We didn't have much time to work with our investigators this week because of all the other stuff we had to do, but we were blessed to find a some one this week. She used to live in San Pedro and all her family got baptized except her and her daughter because her husband didn't let them do it. They then moved and she left him, and now we found her. She still wants to get baptized and is excited to go to church this week.

Monday, September 14, 2015

The good news is that I will probably be able to eat Taco Bell today

Today, me and my companion have to go to Rue for a meeting so I have don't have much time to write and it is earlier than I would like to write. The good news is that I will probably be able to eat Taco Bell today. This week we did a play of the restoration and then after we had a missionary dress up as Goliath and little kids hit him with balls like they were David. If they hit them, they got a bar of chocolate. we also went to Xetulu this week, which was really fun. I didn't get to eat much before, so I almost puked on some of the rides. Pretty fun stuff. There was also a new ride with boats. Basically it is the slowest and lamest ride ever (it is like it is a small world ride from Disney Land but there is no song, no dancing things, and you just keep making an S.), But they put water cannons on the boats so you can aim them and attack other boats and people that are out of the ride. That was fun to attack other zones and the Mission President.  If they had the cannons at Disney Dad, Joey and I would have never gotten off those things.  We didn't have anyone go to church this week, which meant a lot of baptism dates fell, Which is really sad. Also, there is a big chance that me or my companion will get emergency changes tomorrow because they are opening 2 new areas and they are going to put 10 missionaries there, so they told us that our zone will have 9 emergency changes. I will know more about it later today.
Love, Bret

Monday, September 7, 2015

They ended up eating a bunch of our food storage, so we have to buy it all back

We are going to xetulu again this week (the amusement park) so we are working today and have only a short time to work today. so Guatemala didn't have a melt down this week because the president resigned and he is being put on trail. We still had to stay in the house all Sunday because it was elections that day. we ended up studying, eating, and playing Uno all day in the house. It is staring to rain consistently every day now, which is great. I still like the rain and it can get you more opportunities to teach people too. The assistants had to sleep in our house this week so I got to do divisions with them. They ended up eating a bunch of our food storage, so we have to buy it all back. Besides that not much happened this week. Our investigators are doing well. We had a baptism for this week, but it fell because she didn't go to church this week. We also have another family that says that they will start going to church this week. We also visited an inactive family. The husband was a stake president and then he went inactive - but he said that he will start going back to church this week. If the family starts going back, that would be a huge gain for the ward. All in all I am good though. I kinda wish i was in my area more, but I have to do divisions and divisions usually help out my other areas a lot. I trust my companion though, he is a really good missionary.

Monday, August 31, 2015

In other words, we are loaded on beans and toilet paper.

So we now have a singles ward and another ward? Is the other ward even from our stake? So Guatemala is getting pretty unsettled. The elections are this Sunday and the citizens are about to explode. The president they have now is corrupt and is stealing money put he is not be put on trial, so the people are going nuts over it. they are trying to get him taken out before elections so they are blocking off streets and having manifestations (that is when people parade the streets with posters and torches and stuff), so no one will vote so there can be no new president, but there will be one. If there is a new one the "Experts" are saying there will be a Golpe de Estado (when I put it in google translate, something in France just pops up). Golpe de Estado is basically just when the people fight against the leaders. Last time this happened they had to rewrite their constitution.We had to buy a food supply this week for the next week in case things get too hectic and we have to stay in our house all week playing Uno or something- In other words, we are loaded on beans and toilet paper. we cant leave Sunday either (day of the elections). We will go to church and then go back home. It's pretty exciting to learn about Guatemalan politics, they have like 20 political parties that are all popular, unlike us, we just have 2. We ended up making our own Political party too called MECHO (i am not sure really how to spell it, but it means faired skinned people but not gringo). I am also glad that we have 4 missionaries living in the house so when we are in the house there is more people instead of it just being my companion and I. My new companion is great though. He is a hard working and a smart missionary. I do still live with Elder Cook (I mean he still lives with me), and I am still the district leader. this change I got two new areas in my district so I am now in charge of 6 areas. that is half the zone and right now we have the biggest zone in the mission with 12 areas. That is so strange that Chase is leaving to the mission. it makes me sad that I will have to wait two years to see him now. Thanks for everything. I have to go.


Monday, August 24, 2015

I eat meat from who knows what part of what animal

This was a super awesome week. Elder Hermano Jared Fuentes (I am still not sure what to call him, just take two of those names and you might be right) left and returned home. That kid was really funny. We also had changes this week and I am not training, not sure why, I thought I would be, but I have my new companion with me and he is awesome. His name is Elder Méndez and he is from Honduras. He has only one more change than me on the mission. My old companion, Elder Cook, is training a gringo and it is kinda fun to watch him and see him... adapt I think would be the word? It reminds me of when I first got here. We also now have 4 people living in the house which life kind of a party when we are home. It is also helping the area out a lot. Our dats (dinner appts) are not twice as good -they are three times as good because there is just a kind of help you get when there are two missionaries in the ward even though you don’t work in the same area we split the area in half. Sorry, I don’t have pictures of any of this though.
 This week we also got to see Elder Russell M. Nelson talk. He was going to go to Xela and we were going to see him talk in person, but something happened and he couldn’t come so he did a live broadcast in Honduras to those missionaries and our mission got to watch it. He said somethings that I will never forget and it strengthened my testimony of the living prophet and apostles. One thing he said was that he had a grandson go on the mission and when he got back he couldn’t talk English anymore. He said that it made him really sad that he couldn’t speak in English anymore because that meant he did not use his language study time to teach his companions English like he was supposed to. That made all the gringos cringe a little. He also told us that God is very unpleased that there are more men in the church that do not have the Melchizedek priesthood than those who do. He also told us as missionaries that "I am not asking you guys for baptisms or converts, I am asking you guys to prepare people to go to the temple." when he said that it really changed my perspective on less actives.   Well, my area now is the area that we were not working on too much so we didn’t have too much going on in our area, but this week we were able to find a family and two other people accepted dates for baptism. We still don’t have much but I am sure that by the end of this week we will have a lot to do. we also have a baptismal date for this week, he is completely good to go, he just says that if he can receive a stronger testimony through prayer this week he will get baptized with another kid that the other Alameda area is going to baptize this weeks. Please pray for him. His name is Antonio. well, I have a District leader meeting this week, so I have to go back to Reu this week to so I will probably eat Taco Bell at least once this week and think of dad and Joey and tacos.
 Ummm, as far as eating, I am eating the normal Guatemalan stuff. I am growing a secret love for platanos though. It might be something that I miss when I get home. So maybe you can figure out how to whip me up a plantano shake? But ya, I am just eating beans, rice, (I am kinda advoiding tortillas and tamales, I am kinda done with them), bread, platanos, caldo (it is a soup that is just water, grease, and vegetables), potatoes, salads of cucumbers, corn,,peas,,carrots, and sometimes lettuce, and I eat meat from who knows what part of what animal, but ya that is kinda it.  Thanks for always making me try food.  Sorry I didn’t eat all your vegetables.  I will now.
 The apartment is really good. where we live is where a senior couple stayed for like5 years or something and they left all the stuff they bought here so we have a washer machine and dryer, a really big bed (but Elder Cook has it), some carpet (I am still awe stricken about that), sofas, and a microwave and a real oven. We are living like kings here in Alameda.

 I don’t know if I will ever leave the mountains, I am not too concerned about it though. I do think that if I do leave though, I will come back 2 or 3 changes after.
I am District Lider Mecham!

He is small- Like grandma Niccum small