Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Hey Mom,

As for you questions, Huehue is short for Huehuetenango, and yeah it’s the name of the department (state) and it’s also the name of the city that I am in. Usually the names of the departments are just the same as the biggest city there.

It is pretty mountainy here but not in the city. The city is in a really big valley and is surrounded by mountains. We are really close to Mexico. The top of the department touches a large portion of Huehue. There is this really cool place to eat here that a member owns so all the missionaries like to go out there and eat. He lets all the missionaries write on the wall and that’s the wall art. It’s really cool actually. But I saw my name that I had put there when I was in Chiantla.

My comp has been in this same zone for like 8 months now. He started out in another area here, but then two changes ago he got changed here and was the zone leader before. We are about three hours in a bus ride from Xela so we don’t really get to go down too often, only once a month really. We go down when we go to our zone leader meetings. We’re going to head down tomorrow so hopefully I have some packages waiting for me.

My area is really good.  I really like it. It’s all just pure city, so it’s a little different than my old area, but the people are actually a lot more open to the gospel and everything. We have quite a few of really positive people that we are teaching and we had a baptism this week that just passed.

The kid was really positive and seems like he will be a stud in the church. Kind of disappointing though, he really wanted to go on a mission, but he is already 25 and by the time he completes a year of being a member he will be too old to be able to serve as a missionary.

Other than that I have just been trying to get over being sick. I have had some stomach problems lately, and I had to take some more antibiotics.  But as we speak I feel like my stomach pain is coming back so it might not have cleared everything up yet. Maybe I brought along a few buddies with me from Toto. The more the merrier I guess.

We also had a multi zone conference this week that was really good. It was cool because President’s wife was going to give a talk, and since she doesn’t speak Spanish she always needs a translator. Usually one of the APs just does it but this time she asked me if I could translate for her. I was actually really pleasantly surprised at how well I did. It’s always nice to be somewhat able to measure your progress and see how much you have learned, and that’s always a good way to tell.

That’s crazy Alex and Dayoung hit their anniversary. That makes me feel a little old in the mission...Anyways, that’s all that’s new with me here, have a good week and I love you all.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Hey Mom,

How's it going? Things are good here. I had changes again this week. My new area is Centro in the zone Zaculeau ( zac u lay oh) in Hue Hue again. I’m still a zone leader here, and my new comps name is Elder O. He is from Sacramento and is a really cool guy. We had pancake Friday and were going to do breakfast burrito p-days. He was playing football in college I think and he loves sports. The only bummer is he’s a Ute fan. Gross. He has like 13 or 14 months in the mission. 

Huehue is good but it is soooo crazy hot here right now. I thought my last area was hot, this one just feels like I'm in Phoenix in the middle of July. We leave the house in the morning and my shirt is soaking wet until we get home and night. My area is really different than all the rest of my areas though. We're in the middle of the city but it's way different then being in the middle of the city in Xela. In Xela everything is soooo cramped. Like the lifestyle is like that, all packed in like sardines. But here it's really nice. Parts of it even kind of remind me of Albuquerque. It’s bigger and the houses have yards and things like that. The other weird thing about this are that I haven’t had in any other area is that the roads are paved. They are either concrete or paved, most of my areas have had these weird cobblestone kind of roads. I just wrote that and realized how weird that sounds that I’m freaking out about having real roads, but trust me, it’s a huge bonus. The cobblestone roads are always uneven and you’re always stumbling and tripping over things. Luxury here in Huehue. 

We had a really good week. We have three people with baptismal dates that were set this week. We have a guy who is supposed to get baptized Saturday. The dude is super super ready and loves the church and all. He is a dancer or choreographer or something, and the YSA in the ward here wanted to learn a dance so they hired this guy for that. He came and met everyone and became good friends with the ward and they converted the guy. It was great because the members did pretty much all the hard work and we just have to teach him the lessons and show him where the font is. Love baptisms like that where the members help us out. We teach him and he already knows most of the lessons and stuff. We're planning on buying him a preach my gospel for his baptism gift. That would be so cool to have a convert go and be a missionary, bucket list. 

Our house here is pretty cool. We live with this really rich Mexican member who only talks to us in "tu" (which is really weird for members to talk to us in tu). He has two houses but they are on the same lot and we just live in his guesthouse you could say. It's really nice. We have this study area which is up on the second floor, but it doesn’t have any stairs in the house though, we just have this rickety old ladder we have to climb up to get there. Always makes me kind of laugh, a fireman pole would be really cool to have though in order to get down. 

Anyways, I love you all; I have to go play some basketball. Gringo Zonies. 
Have a good week. 


Monday, April 15, 2013


Hey Mom,
Things are going good here as always. I got my glasses and everything taken care of. They are ray bans so the frames are really nice. They aren’t big or heavy so they aren’t falling off of my face every day, that’s always a bonus. 

This week has been crazy flipping hot though. Sometimes we walk outside and I forget I'm in Guate and think I’m in Africa for a moment. I never thought I would say this but I am pretty much ready for the rainy season to roll in so that it’s not so flippin hot anymore. Like temperature wise it's never over 100 here, but we're so close to the equator and the fact that my mission is the highest in elevation in Central America, sometimes it feels like you can just reach out and touch the sun. Boiling right now. 

We had some really really cool lessons this week. We found a partial family that we have been teaching and brought them to church. It’s just a mom and her two kids, but the mom is terminally ill. She has some kind of brain cancer and the doctors only give her until the end of May to live. It's really really sad. The tumor is right behind her left eye and it makes that whole side of her face bulge and her eye is almost popping out of the socket. But she came to church on Sunday and brought her daughter who isn’t baptized and she was saying one of the last things she wants to do is see her daughter get baptized. 

Another investigator we have is a man that is deaf and mute, and about a month ago he fell from a tree they were cutting down for firewood and now he is paralyzed from the waist down. I love going to teach him because you can tell he is dying just being cooped up in the house like he is. We gave him the Book of Mormon the other day and he was so grateful you could tell he was on the verge of tears. We always like to go visit him because his kids always teach us little things in sign language. It's hard to talk to the dad because we have to say what we want to his 12 year old son or 10 year old daughter and they sign it to him, he signs back to them, and then they tell us. It's just really cool seeing them talking like that with their hands, it's super impressive. It's interesting too because his wife is also mute and deaf, perfect match. 

We were talking with another member this week also and he has a son that has a heart problem. His heart I think is too big and beats too fast, so his skin is almost blue-ish because of all the blood and stuff. They only calculate he will live for a few more years too. But this member was telling us how they had gone to visit this man's parent's tombstones this week and the son went and laid the flowers down on his grandparents grave, walked back to his dad and sad, ``Dad, when I die you guys will come and bring me flowers, right"?  I was just kind of like...whoa. 

It happens a lot in the mission when you see the situations of others and it really put your life into a new perspective. When looking at the life of a terminally ill person, or someone who feels trapped in his own body, my problems rapidly diminish. I was thinking about Ether 12:4, when it talks about hope. Most of the time when we are talking about hope in normal life we always see it with a twinge of doubt. For me it's pretty much always there. But like it says hope can become an anchor. Anchors are pretty sure and don’t move, you just imagine a big dead weight. But the difference between this kind of hope and the, I hope this person will call, or I hope it's not so hot tomorrow is that it's hope that comes from our faith, like the scripture says, leads us to be sure and steadfast. Those two words don’t leave much room for doubt. It leads to good actions, like the watching your daughter get baptized or reading the Book of Mormon. That’s when people really find out whether they believe in Christ or not, when you’re looking at the end. It was just kind of a crazy learning experience, and super humbling at the same time. 

Anyways, sorry I don’t have a whole lot of time for writing this week, 
I love you all and I'll talk to you next week.
Oh P.S. this photo is my posterity. I have a great grandson now.


Hey Mom,

Yeah you missed out on General Conference. It was crazy crazy good. It is always one of the best weekends in the mission. We had to go up to Toto to watch it so we just kind of hung out there the whole time. President Monson's talk for me was by far one of the best. His oratory skills are just on another level. I guess that comes with years and years of giving public talks and discourses but even still. He always just has the perfect facial expressions and jokes and stories and stuff. I loved it when he said the great test of this life is obedience. That was probably my favorite one liner from the whole conference. Other things I really liked were Elder Uchtdorf's talk on light and darkness. I have seen a lot of that here too, lots of darkness in peoples lives here, but at the same time you can see members that even though they are completely surrounded by darkness, they can still be a beacon to the world. Jesus himself said that he didn’t come to the world to offer the world, world peace. He came into the world to offer in the individual self-peace. We went and visited a single parent mother last night that lives in our branch and we were talking about that talk. She joined the church because her ex husband was a member and she pretty much got baptized for him. But after they had their three daughters he started drinking and kept slipping until he was daily using hard drugs in front of his daughters and wasting all their money on getting high. They had a really ugly divorce and the guy keeps going on his spiral downwards, but she was still just saying about how if that’s what it took for her to be able to get to know the church, then that’s all right. She said having the church in her life made all of those things not matter as much, now she has the light she needed and the strength to move onward. It was interesting too because she was talking about how many of the talks were about how we should read, pray, have FHE, go to bed at the same time, etc as spouses, but that she and her husband had never ever done any of those things, and she attributed the lack of doing all of those things as the reason to why her ex husband tanked the way he did. It was sad thinking about it all, but at the same time amazing to see someone who through a strange path had received that individual peace, but definitely not world peace as she watched pretty much her marriage and world crash down around her. Definitely a good learning experience. Another talk was by Elder Falebella. How can I not love that talk? He is my Guatemalan hero. I’ve actually met him. He used to be the area president of Central America but not now. But even still his talk was really great I thought. He talked about all the things that his wife had taught him. My favorite one was the it takes two people to fight, and I will never be one of them. It also gave me a good chuckle when he was saying that everyone was giving him 20-dollar bills when he shook peoples hands when they went to Arizona so he told his wife to make sure and shake everyone’s hand. Twenty dollars might not be a lot to someone from the states but 20 dollars down here is good free money ha-ha. I am sure to a recently married Guatemalan couple in the States too that was like winning the lottery. It was all pretty good though. We watched it in Spanish again this time, and I almost think I like watching it more in Spanish then in English. I have to be a lot more attentive when I’m listening or things really slip by without realizing what’s being said, so it helps me focus. The only downside is you do not get the same emotions with a translator than with the original speaker. It's interesting sometimes too when the translators are saying something really powerful and you can hear in their voices they get choked up and start to get emotional, but the regular person isn’t emotional at all. I bet that is quite the hard task translating for all of those talks though. Here in the zone a place called Nahuala(the photo is with a guy from there), the people don’t speak Spanish, so they have people that watch it in Spanish and are talking over a microphone and translate it into quiche. That would be pretty wild too. Anyways, sorry I'm a little short on time this week. I love you guys have a good week.

Thursday, April 4, 2013


Hey Moms, 

How’s it going? Easter here was pretty good. Other than the heat and the lack of people it was great. It’s super interesting how they celebrate it here. They carry Jesus and the Virgin Mary through the streets and make these big designs on the roads made out of painted saw dust. The other thing they do is they make this special kind of bread and eat it with fruit and homemade honey. It tasted really good, but I also and now pretty sure I suffer from Celiacs. I was feeling pretty uncomfortable every single day, and the only thing I was eating was bread. I literally felt like someone had hooked up an air compressor to my intestinal system. It’s over now though so hopefully I'll be feeling normal again soon.

We got a new comp again this week. I’m Zonie training again. His name is Elder Melara and he is from Salvador. He has about 14 months in the mission and I am pretty sure he is my replacement. I am not sure if I am going to have changes or not just yet. Just that the AP’s told me I have to train him to be a Zonie.

I really like being in trio actually, it makes teaching a little bit harder, but the conversations and everything are a lot easier with three people then just a normal companionship. I really like being with a Latin comp too because your always speaking Spanish. I really love speaking Spanish, it’s such a pretty easy language and it’s really, really grown on me.

Another thing too is that we talked with the leaders of the mission and they are going to open San Andres Xecul now in the zone. We went the other day and looked for houses and everything for the missionaries that are going to be there. I’m so jealous, that would be soo cool to open an area that has never ever had missionaries there before.

We went on Friday to go and look for the houses and that was the biggest day of the Holy Week. It was nuts. I thought for sure we were going to get lynched. I got some sweet photos though. Literally they take Easter to a level I have never ever thought was possible here. It’s strange, but at the same time, I respect it. Easter is such an insignificant and a little bit pagan worshipy in the states I feel like.

I didn’t get any of the packages yet, I don’t know why but hopefully next week. Anyways, that’s about all that’s new here.

 I love you guys; hope you have a great week.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Hey Mom,

How’s March going? Warming up a little bit? The summer weather is a lot (and by a lot I mean a million times) better here in Toto then it was in Huehue this time last year. It’s only really hot from like 12 to 3 in the afternoon here, but other than that it’s pretty comfortable weather. The rain is starting to settle in a little bit too. It usually rains for maybe an hour or so a day, but it’s not the constant every day all day of rainy season just yet. I just remember that in Huehue last year I was dying. It is so flipping hot there. But here in Toto the elevation is really high, so it makes for a little bit more mild weather. I do have permanent sunburn though, like I can’t get rid of it, even though I put sunscreen on every day.  I’m just rosy all the time. It’s probably a little more windburn then sunburn though.

We’re gearing up for another Holy Week here. My area is pretty Catholic heavy so it should be pretty wild again. Most of the days aren’t too crazy except for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. They make these big designs in the street too that are really cool. They are made out of dyed sawdust and it’s pretty cool. Although we did hear that in Quiche this week some guy was driving on a street where they were making the designs and he drove over the corner of the design with his car and messed it up, and the people making the thing got in a argument with the driver, ended up pulling him out of the car and they killed him....uhhhh. Yeah. We’re going to be sure and not mess up the sawdust designs in the street while we’re walking.

They (pretend) crucified some guy in Chiantla last year for Holy Week ha-ha. Remember that? It’s pretty wild. This week is even bigger than Christmas here. It’s just a little strange though because Sunday is literally nothing. Easter here does not even exist. They just celebrate his death and nothing else. Nothing about the resurrection. Kind of ironic I think.

This last week was good though, not a whole lot of exciting news. Our guy we had a date with for baptism dropped off the face of the planet and the date fell through so that was kind of a bummer. We seriously could not find the guy anywhere and he wouldn’t answer our calls or anything, and then he called the branch president and told him to tell us not to pass by anymore. :(. This is your salvation man, how can you not want this?

The other thing that happened this week is that we have no electricity in our house. We’re not exactly sure why, but for the past three days we have not had any light or anything in the whole building where we live. And it’s literally just our house on the entire street that is like that. Just cold showers in the morning and the headlamp (that Dad insisted that I should bring) at night. I honestly never thought I would use the sleeping bag or the headlight, but Dad turned out to have some great prophetic thinking on both cases. I’m still using Agnes. I literally can’t switch back to blankets now. Even though it doesn’t get cold at nights anymore. It’s so nice waking up in the morning, rolling out of bed, and folding in half the sleeping bag and throwing it back on the bed in two seconds, while I watch my comp make his bed like a scrub messing with blankets and sheets and all. Too much work. I hope my wife is okay with us getting a two-person sleeping bag because I’ll never make a bed again. Great call on Dads part.

Another cool thing that happened this week is we found some of the coolest investigators in the world. The Mom and Dad of the family are both deaf and mute. The Dad fell out of a tree a week ago while he was getting firewood, and now he is paralized from the waist down. But we got the reference from some members and the whole time I was just kind of thinking, how on earth are we going to teach deaf, mute, and paralyzed people...? But when we got there we met their 7-year-old daughter, and she translated for us. It was seriously one of the coolest lessons I have ever had in my mission. The daughter isn’t deaf or mute or anything, but she learned Spanish sign language and has spoken Spanish her whole life too, so she did all the work. She also taught us a few of the signs so we could tell them ourselves things. It was crazy. But we taught them a lesson and gave the Dad a blessing. It was sad at the same time though, like those are some rough cards to draw from life. The Dad is super cool though. I really hope they progress. How cool would that be if they got baptized? Anyways, that’s about all that’s new here. I hope everything is going good there. I’ll talk to y’all next week.

Love you all,

P.S. Today we just went to Xela and now are kind of hanging out. They might change our area so we were going and talking to the AP's about that. There is this city called San Andres Xecul that is super close to San Cris, and they might move us there to open the area (its never ever had missionaries) and put normal missionaries in our place here. How cool would that be? You should Google the city though; it has this famous Old Catholic church there.