Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Another week in the Tierra Prometida

Hello all!

To be honest, I don't feel like a lot has changed since last week. Elder Caceres and I are trying to work on teaching with more unity, and having more unity in general, and I don't think we're there yet, but we're on the way.

Yesterday and this morning, we helped Hermana Soto move a lot of her stuff to a neighbor's house. She's originally from Nicaragua, and she's going back there for Christmas, and for at least a month afterwards. She warned us ahead of time, and we have two new sisters who help us out now: Hermana Petrona cooks lunch for us, and Hermana Juanita does our laundry. They're both pilas (awesome)! They're really nice, and really helpful.

Moving Hermana Soto's stuff was an interesting experience. I got the sweatiest I have been yet here in Guatemala. It's actually cool right now, probably about late septembet/early october or a little later for Utah. Everyone is complaining about the cold, and it's a little funny, but I know I won't be laughing come summer. If they send me to the coast, it will be about 110 farenheit, and humid!

Anyway, Hna. Soto. She's a seamstress, and I counted no less than seven antique sewing machines that she uses for her work. We moved all but two. Since they're all made of cast iron, they're pretty heavy, and we had to carry them up some stairs, which was um... fun! :) We gave her an old gas stove we had, that she can repair and use. There's just a couple little missing pieces. She can't bring her couch, so she's giving it to us to put in our apartment, which will be awesome!

A little about the gas stoves here: there is no plumbing for natural gas. Every gas stove uses a canister of probably propane to run. Most of the canisters are rusty and look like they're in pretty bad shape. There are people who bring them to your house strapped to the back of a motorcycle. Sometimes, they have several large canisters strapped on, and it's a little disconcerting, to put it lightly. President Brough is phasing out gas stoves in the mission because of this danger. Our stove is now an electric hot plate. He told us to get everything related to gas or gas stoves out of the house, which we're in the process of doing. Don't worry, Mom, it'll all be gone soon! :)

The big thing that happened this week, was we got to watch the dedication of the Quetzaltenango temple in our stakae center!!! It was really neat. President Uchtdorf performed the dedication, and Elder Anderson was there as well. E. Anderson speaks spanish, so he conducted the meeting. Pres. Uchtdorf spoke in English, and had a translator standing beside him, so I got to listen to his talk in English, which was awesome. We also got to see the cornerstone ceremony, which was really cool. P. Uchtdorf spoke of pressing forward in Christ, and working in his work. It was a very timely message for me, and it was especially cool that he was speaking to all the members, not just the missionaries!

Also, there are transfers this week. Because of the training, E. Caceres and I are staying together, but Elders Gomez and Pineda in our district are being transfered elsewhere. I imagine I will stay in Jerusalen for another transfer after E. Caceres leaves, if not more. I'm fine with that, since the members are amazing, and the investigators are great.

Now, I'll tell you about some of our investigators.

We set a baptismal date with Rosa, who has been taking the discussions for about a year and a half. Her husband is an inactive member, and his father is the Elder's Quorum president in our branch. She's been reading and praying, so we're going to get her ready for baptism January 1!

William is really neat. He's a realtor, and he really wants to know more about what we're teaching. We've taught him the importance of asking about our message in prayer, and we're pretty sure we'll baptize him, and hopefully his family too! He's really fun to teach, but he has an accent, so he's a little hard to understand. His parents are both Evangelical ministers, but he's very interested in what we have to teach!

Jissela was a reference from Hermana Petrona. She lives with her son, and her mother, who is very ill. She takes care of her mother full-time, and she seems really close to the spirit. She's sometimes a little hard to get ahold of, but we're doing our best.
Berta is interesting. She loves the discussions, she loves what we tell her. She wants to read the Book of Mormon, but she doesn't want to pray about it, because she doesn't want to change her religion.

Anyway, those are a few of our investigators. We should have some baptisms in January, and really be able to change some lives! IT's really exciting!

I love you all!
Thank you for your thoughts and prayers, they are much needed and much appreciated.
Until next week,
Elder Nicholas Banks

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