Easter isn't Easter in Guatemala it's Semana Santa, or Holy Week. Basically, everyone gets off work and school from Wednesday until Monday, and they all go out of town except for those who are receiving guests. It was an interesting week, but we still got some good work done, and there were a few people we finally found at home, which was really cool. There was one guy who talked to me on the bus a couple months ago with Elder Caceres and we've never been able to actually
teach him. His name is Luis and he's got a lot of problems. He wants to change, and we're helping him to do so. He's got some really big challenges to overcome, but he wants to change his life and improve his relationship with his wife, who is living in the States at the moment. I know this will be hard for him, but we're here to help him change and come to Christ.
Yesterday something kind of funny happened. We got on the bus that takes us into the city, and a preacher got on and basically started calling everyone to repentance. He sat down, and eventually we all got off the bus. We went alone to another bus, which then went a couple of stops, and THE SAME PREACHER got on the bus, and started giving basically THE SAME MESSAGE again! It was kind of funny.
Yesterday was also a really amazing day for me. I finally stopped worrying and relaxed a bit, and the Spirit really has started working with me. Also, I'm really happy and excited to be here! We only had two lessons yesterday, but I feel great! During one of the lessons, scriptures just started coming into my mind, which I know wasn't me. Also, we've started contacting differently as well. We'll stay semi-close to each other on the street but talk to different people. It helps us A. find more people, and B. build my confidence, that I actually can talk to people!
My companion and I are still getting along as usual. We're working hard, and when we're doing so, it is the greatest feeling in the world.
We also had a zone conference last week, which was pretty cool. As I walked in, Elder Krantz from the CCM was there, and he said "Hey, I'm supposed to do a musical number and don't have a pianist. Will you play for me?" We practiced a little beforehand, and then we pulled off a pretty good bi-lingual rendition of "I Stand All Amazed." I also learned a lot in the conference, and President Brough gave us some great counsel.
The other news is that changes are nearing. Chances are that next week, I will be out of Jerusalén. I'll miss it, as it's a really great area. The people are amazing, and there are some amazing views of Guatemala City, Villa Nueva, and Lake Amatitlan (not Atitlan, that's far away). This little corner of Guatemala has really worked its way into my heart. Nothing is official yet, but I'm pretty sure I'll be leaving, because I've been in this area for almost 6 months.
Overall, it's been a pretty good week. I've fallen in love with the work, and I'm falling in love with the people. My spiritual thought this week is about obedience. In the bible, we read that Jesus Christ came to be the Savior for all those who obey him. I exhort you to do so. Pray, love God and Christ, and follow them. If you're not following them, repent and get back on track. There is only one way to eternal happiness. Are you following this way?
Thank you for all your prayers. Please keep praying for us.
Yours in the Faith,
Elder Nicholas Banks