Dear Friends and Family,
Well, the big news is... I don't have transfer tomorrow! I will be in Jerusalén for 6 more weeks with Elder Calta, after which I will probably leave, because if I stay for two more transfers, I'll be staying for three more because Elder Calta will be going home, and someone would have to train the new elder on the area. That would be 9 months in an area, which is almost unheard of. Elder Caceres being in the area for 7.5 months was pretty long, but 6 months is pretty normal, and that's what I'll be completing in this area.
The other day, we went to a really far away part of the area, called Aldea El Calvario. Translated, it means essentially "Calvary Hill." It's a perfect name, because it's a hill outside the walls of Jerusalem. You can see almost all of Jerusalén from Calvario, as well as the majority of the colony where we live, which is called Villas II. We then passed by Villas I, which is uphill of Villas II, and ended up in Mirador de San Cristóbal, which means "Lookout onto San Cristóbal." From there, we could see most of the rest of the area. I don't have a way to send the pictures this week, but I'll send some soon. We had a great day, and we got to know the area a little better. Our area is huge, and if there were more members, it would probably be two areas.
The other thing that's really been neat this week, is learning to follow the Spirit. One night, my companion let me direct (he took over for most of the week). Our appointment fell through, and he asked me "Where are we going?" I went to the main avenue of the colony, and I felt the distinct impression to turn right. I did so, then I felt impressions to turn down two other streets, leading us to a door which I knocked. They let us in the house, and we taught the entire family. They had lots of questions, and they gave us their phone number so we can set another appointment. I don't know if they'll progress, but it was really neat to be led to their house. The next day, we were in a lesson, and what happens is sometimes my companion will hand the lesson off to me, and I won't know what to say. This time, I just opened my mouth, and started speaking, and the words just came. The spirit was definitely there with us, and I absolutely love this family.
We also had Stake Conference this past Sunday. We had an investigator family come, which was great! The branch always gets a bus so we don't have to worry about getting there. We heard from several speakers, including President Brough, and his wife, and President Mask and his wife, of the Guatemala City Temple. They told some great stories, and it was a most spiritual experience.
On that note, the branch is now getting really involved in missionary work. The branch president will be extending a bunch of callings of people who will be helping us in the work. I am really excited to get the members involved, because we have some great ones.
I love the area, I love my companion, I love the Spirit, and I love the work. There is no place I would rather be at this point in my life than here in the Guatemala City Central Mission. Trust in the Lord, and he will lead you to where you need to be. He knows.
Thank you for your thoughts and your prayers. They are much appreciated and much needed.
Yours in the Faith,
Elder Nicholas Banks