Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Email - Received Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Hey Family, Friends, and Future Servants of the Lord!

Haha, Yes I mean you Josh and Rob. I am so full of gratitude and love today as I received DearElders from Amanda, Aunt Metzie, and an awesome, long one from you Josh! You wrote it on the 17th, so it´s kinda old news, but I loved every line of everyone´s letters! And guess what Mom?! I got your package! Right on time! Next Tuesday I leave for the my actual mission field, so I´m not sure whether or not I would´ve gotten my mail, since I will be leaving early in the morning. So I was extremely excited to come back from the Temple this morning and see a bige, heavy package with my name on it! Mom, you´re the best Mom A missionary could ever have. Temporally, I have been so ready and prepared for this experience because of you. I have not had one absolute need since April 1st and I love that I can focus on more important things than say...running out of soap like some of the other Elders are having to deal with. =) Anyways, Thank You to everyone that is sending me so many letters and prayers and so much love and support. It truely does make a HUGE difference for me. I can feel it when the Lord has no other choice but to answer your prayers and lift me up where I need to be to do His work.

Okay, so a little news. I believe that I´m getting EVERYONE´s DearElders and obviously packages DO get to me, so i´m way excited about that! It´s just a matter of the time between send and receive that´s a problem...and even that can be easily shrugged off. Amanda, yes, I got your first DearElder, but no I dont have nearly enough time to actually write letters to everyone back. Really, mostly what i have time for is to write this weekly letter to one and all for the Blog. In the field that might change, but I´m not sure. On the subject of mail, I found out my address that you all will need to get to me when I´m in the field. It is: A.P. 921-A Guatemala C.A. Guatemala ...that´s it. I even asked a native teacher and he confirmed that that is all you need to write in the sending address. =) I´m excited to find out what my next P-Day is and how the e-mail will work out in the field too. I´ll let you all know how it goes as soon as I can.
I leave the CCM for the field on next Tuesday morning early, the 2nd of June! I´m very excited and i will get everything figured out for you all at home. I´m sure everything will go smoothly. I have been praying for my future trainer lately and have received peace in my heart that I will have an excellent first couple of changes (6 week periods).

Some more BIG news: I finished the Book of Mormon last Saturday!!! I started reading and marking about 3 and a half weeks ago with a 7 inch blue marking pencil and now my Scriptures are full of my own markings and the pencil is...well obliterated! =) It was a wonderful experience and I share my testimony with you all that the Book of Mormon is TRUE! and that it contains the Fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was written addressed specifically to the people that I will begin teaching in about 7 days...for that I am SO excited to share this beautiful resource with the Guatemalan people. Pray for them. Pray that they will recognize it´s ¨Familiar Spirit¨ and that they will come to the knowledge of it´s truth. I know your prayers help me, now use them to help my companions and the Lord´s children here in Guatemala. I dont think I will have the opportunity to e-mail next week on Tuesday, but I will as soon as I can and fill you in on all the details of my new change in circumstances! I´m so excited to meet my Trainer and meet the People that I will come to know and love deeper than I can ever imagine possible. I know that I will have a best experience possible. If it´s not that way from the beginning, with the Lord´s help I can make it better each day! I love you all and have really appreciated all the love and support I have received from home. Keep sending it! Let the Lord soften your hearts, set up shop, and help you become tools in His hands as well. We are all meant to be missionaries, not just us Full-Timers.

I am going to try to write as many letters as I can this week so that I can send them all out to you before I leave. To my Friends, I love you, I couldn´t be here without you. Especially you Joshua, I would not be anywhere near this close to the Lord without you in my life. Truely you are a Gift from God to me and all the other people whose lives you have and will touch. I thank Heavenly Father for you every day and offer up prayers from my heart constantly for your preparation and success. I love you my Brother. I will wait to write you until you are in the MTC, but once we can e-mail, we will be so involved in each others work that nothing will be able to seperate our souls. We were meant to be brothers and we will be, through the Lord´s work, for eternity. What we are doing is of eternal significance, of that I am certain for the Lord has made it known to me. You are an answer to prayers, never forget that.

To my family, my time is out, but I love you! I love you more than I could ever express here on Earth. Luckily I have eternity to tell you about it. ;)


-Elder Preston William Tucker

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Email - Received Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Dear Family and Friends,

This week, in the life of Elder Preston William Tucker, the Lord God has effected a great change in the perspective and outlook of me, a humble missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ. The first thing I feel impressed to tell my family about is that I am changing into the man that my patriarchal blessing prophesied that I would be. I have gained a more eternal perspective and have been touched by the tender mercy of my Savior's hands. No, i didn't see a vision or receive revelation in a dream...this week =P, but I have experienced yet another change in my heart. I have begun to lose my care for time. I am beginning to get lost in the love of my Savior for me and for these people of Guatemala. I want to get into the field and give Him my very best. I want to serve. I want to be the best missionary I can be for Him and then bring His gifts home to you all in the form of the man that God means for me to be. I can feel myself getting stronger in mind, heart, body, and spirit every day. Just two days ago me and three other friends were so on fire with the Spirit of the Lord that we couldn't stop smiling and praising our God for over 3 hours after our meetings were through. I continue to study to scriptures and have made a major leap this week. In fact, just before I started writing this email I finish Helaman. Think about that! I went from Alma 21 all the way through Helaman in one week. Surely the Lord has blessed me with His love and His words through the Book of Mormon this week. I wish for all of you, especially my family and you Joshua, to begin studying the Book of Mormon from the first page on through. Find a love for the teachings and love found within its pages. I promise...no, i Bless you that as you read, you will gain this love for the scriptures and the Lord will pour out his abundant blessings on you in so much that ye cannot receive all of them. Joshua, Sidney, Alonna, Sierra, if you're reading this, please take my advice. I want the blessings I am receiving now for YOU especially. I am beginning to see how much better it will be for us in our young lives if we gain a love for the words of God right now and keep nourishing that love from this point until we pass into eternity. Heavenly father has made known to me through the Spirit just how many blessings He is waiting to pour out upon us. They are very desirable and I hope that all of you my friends will begin to taste of these blessings as soon as your read this email.

Mom, I love you. I think about you daily, your thoughts, your love, your struggles, your desires. I want everything in the world and the eternities to be yours. You deserve joy in your life. Spend these nest 97 weeks in the search for that joy. Find it in love, find it in service, and find it in Christ. I love you so much. Always remember that, every second of every day, I am your Son and I love you with a strength that stretches beyond this world.

Dad, I love you. I send my prayers for your welfare up to Heavenly Father daily. I want you to succeed in your work. I want you to succeed in yourself. But most of all, I want you to succeed in your family. We all love you more than we can express. Do everything you possibly can to strength our family and the Lord will bless you for your diligence. That's a Christlike Attribute ya know. =P Stay strong, keep working, the blessings are near at hand and now it's up to you to open yourself to the Lord and receive them. I love you into eternity, your example strengthens me every day. I'm so glad that you served a mission. I'm so happy that you could take me through the Temple. And I'm...eternally grateful that you're MY dad!

Hope, I love you. Be a good girl. I know that you're growing up and that i wont be able to call you a little girl for much longer. I want you to grow up strong and smart. I want you to swim your heart out, do you best in school, and help Mom and Dad in every way that you can. I pray to Heavenly Father every night that he will bless you with everything you need in your life. I know that He will bless you. Say your prayers, read the scriptures when you can, do well in school, and make me proud in swim. I'm so full of joy that you are my sister. I think about you every day. I know that we were meant to be a family forever, and I'm so glad that I have you to share eternity with. I love you to the Moon and back a bazillion times! Mom used to say that to me, now I want to say it to you. I cant wait until I get to see you all growing up in two years. I miss you, I love you. Be good. =)

Grandma, I got your DearElder today and i loved it. I'm so excited that you're trying to learn a little Spanish, I just hope that I'll know what you're saying when you send my letters with Spanish in them. I love that you're lifting me up and I love that you love the Temple. I want to make you proud, so I'm doing my best. =) I love you.

Aunt Metzie, dear dear Aunt Metzie, you stay strong okay?! I love you so much. You are such a blessing to our family. I love your spirit and I love your mind. Keep working and asking the Lord for His help. I know He is there and is listening. Get that Bear Lake house looking magnificent cuz that's one of the first places I want to go in about 97 weeks, ok?! I just cant wait to see what wonderful things you'll have done with it.

Josh, stay strong and keep preparing! My time is almost out, but I love you and wanted to tell ya so. =)

Alonna, there's a letter in the mail for you. =P

My time is up and I've got to go. Talk to you all next week.

Love Always,
-Elder Preston William Tucker

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Email Continued - Received Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Oh, one more thing! I forgot to write about my divisionals last Wednesday and the power just went out here, so my District Leader allowed us a few more minutes to finish up our emailing.

So here´s a little bit about my experience. So the CCM allows the trainging missionaries to go out into the field with experienced missionaries once every three weeks and they rotate between the areas in the Guatemala City missions. This week, luckily, was Central mission...MY mission. So every companionsip in the CCM gets paired with a companion ship in the field and they both split up for the day from 8 in the morning to 5 at night. I was with Elder Arave, a North Amercan from Blackfoot, Idaho that has been out for about 16 months. He was fun to be around and was willing to teach me while we walked and then allow me to teach while we were with investigators. I taught my first lesson on The Restoration in Spanish all by myself! It was fantastic, but my first question fell flat on its face. =P My investigator was a mother of a member, she was an older woman, and she was very Catholic. I asked her ¨Have you ever wondered which church is true?¨ She answered me straigh up with ¨No, I{m Catholic, I dont need to ask that question.¨ haha! But i recovered by bearing my testimony and then i taught the whole lession. She was reseptive and i gave her a Book of Mormon and committed her to read it along with the Bible and to Pray to know if the Book of Mormon is the word of God. She accepted both commitments and then we were off to another female member´s house who had asked for a blessing. I sealed the annointing and Elder Arave gave the blessing. It was a rocky sealing, but I got it done and was filled with peace afterwards. After that we stayed and talked to her for a while before it was time to head back for the day. I had many more experiences that I cant even begin to ennumerate, because I dont have time, but i CAN say this: I love these people. They are just like you and I. They have hopes, dreams, loves, questions, and challenges that you would hardly believe were possible to bear. But they do. They bear them with smiles and I cannot wait to bless their lives with the light of Christ. Please, pray for these people. Pray for the people that I will teach. They need your prayers. I love you all, I love them, and I love my God. I hope this experience inspires you all to become missionaries in you own ways. Share the Gospel with whoever you can. It will bless them and it will bless you! If you feel inadequate to the task, read Preach My Gospel and it will ¨qualify you for the work.¨ I truly have a testimony that this work is the work of God, and He can do it on His own, but He chooses to allow us the privilege of doing our part as well. Again, I love you all and cant wait to hear from you more. Until next week, adios mi familia y mis amigos! Les quiero muy mucho!

Amor para Siempre,

-Elder Preston William Tucker

Email - Received Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Hey Family and Friends!

Today is a wonderful day, even though I´m lobster red with sunburn from our trip yesterday. (We went to a place called Las Colinas, basically a camp in the middle of the Guatemalan mountains that the Church owns and operates as a kind of Ward/Stake Camp) We had most of the morning to give a little service and then play our hearts out in the beautiful, sunny day. Today I was able to go to the Temple again, and again I prayed specifically for many of you, especially those that are struggling and/or recovering from sickness. My faith has grown so much here and I know without a doubt that my prayers are answered because of my faith in the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and our Loving Heavenly Father. Also, today we get a brand new group of North American missionaries into the CCM and also another group of Latinos as well. Please, pray for their success and their comfort as I know that your prayers in behalf of me were answered in these last 3 weeks. Also, I got 6 letters today! Sure, they are all from about two weeks ago, but they still help my spirit soar with good feelings! I got US Post Mail from Mom, Hope, and Josh as well as Dear Elders from Mom, Alonna, and my old companion Mike Ivey! I cannot begin to express my exceedingly great love for my Heavenly Father and my Family and Friends for blessing me today in such abundance! Suffice it to say, I serve Him with everything that I have and then you all give me more to finish each day. =)

Okay, so more on the mail situation. It takes about $1.00 in postage to get to me, and also takes two weeks or less to get into my hands, but it DOES get to me! I´m so glad to say that I have confidence that anyone who would like to send me anything through USPS can and it will reach me. All of your letters have been so wonderful and I´m doing my best to use today to respond to many of you.

Mom, thank you so much for checking on Josh for me. I´m glad that he got the opportunity to come over and talk just like normal. I know you love him as much (maybe almost as much... ;P) as you love me and I´m so grateful that you take care of his needs when you can. Josh, I got your letter today and I must say that I was VERY impressed by the details and news that you sent me. I´m so sorry that you got so sick, but I know through the power of the priesthood and modern medicine you were able to fulfill your purposes and get back to health. I´m so glad that your Temple experience went smoothly. I cannot fully express my love for the Temples in a letter, but I want you to know that I´m so proud of your commitment to attend them often. Oh, also, I´ve seen pictures of the Peru MTC and Temple and I know you´re going to have a blast there. You should start studying your Spanish early and get a DS game called ¨My Spanish Coach¨. My MTC buddy used it for Japanese and he loves it! Just an idea...

Mom and Dad, I´m glad you two have been having such a good time lately. WICKED sounds great and I´m glad you finally get to chance to go to that motorcycle training/safety course. Mom, you´ll get the hang of it as long as you try hard. And Dad, I´m glad you feel confident that you can train me when i get home because I really want to learn!

Hope, I´m so happy that you had a good Birthday and that you went and got some new flip-flops with your gift card. It´s good to hear that they did a good job with the new Sparetime, I´m excited to see it when i get home. I heard from Mom that you´re a good baby-sitter, good job! I´m glad that you´re finding and developing your many talents like I know you can! Keep doing good work and always try hard! I love you so much!

Dad, in response to your question about the pictures, I now feel good enough that every and any picture will be welcome, no matter whether they are just of people or activities as well. I´m also glad that my SD card got to you and that it´s on it´s way back. I will send another one the week that I leave the CCM full of more nice pictures.

Family, continue to be obedient and I know that you will be blessed. Here are the basics that I know, if you work on them every day, Heavenly Father will bless your lives exceedingly: Family Prayer, FHE, Personal Scripture Study, and Personal Prayer. Also, parents, try your best to get to the Temple when you can. I know that I love them and they bless me so much with peace and personal revelation! Just an update on my personal scripture study, I just got to Alma 21 and started from the beginning, with my goal being to finish the Book of Mormon by the time i leave the CCM. Also, on the plane here I read the Pearl of Great Price and I love how much knowledge it contains about the creation and the order of this world and the universe. I hope that every one that reads this will commit themselves to continue studying the scriptures dilligently. If you dont do it now, start, and if you do it every once in a while, try to do it every day for a few minutes. You all WILL be blessed if you follow my advice. I love you all so much and want the blessings that my investigators will get as they come unto Christ for you all as well.

Well, my time for this week is almost up. Again, I love you all and cannot begin to tell you how much your support means to me. Your prayers bless me everyday, I can literally FEEL them giving me more strength and ability. Thank you, I will make you proud. Until next week, know that Christ is the Savior of the World, we all have a Loving Father in Heaven, and His Church here on the Earth to help and support us all until He welcomes us into His Kingdom once again.

Love Always,
-Elder Preston William Tucker

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Email - Received Tuesdsay, May 5, 2009

Hey Mom, Dad, Hope, Family, and good Friends!

First of all...HAPPY 10th BIRTHDAY Hope! I´m sorry I couldn´t be there for it, but like I said in my letter before, I´ll be there for number 12! I hope you had a great time at the new Sparetime Fun Center. And I can´t tell you how jealous I am that you guys still get to go to the Bear Lake House. When I read Mom´s Dear Elder that she sent from the cabin I just about cried as I remembered how beautiful it is up there. That´s one of the first places I want to go when I get home, okay? Just a peaceful, beautiful weekend at Bear Lake. Mmmm....

Anyways! More news from Guatemala: Today I got two DearElders (one from Mom and one from Elder Ivey) and one other letter from the Hunter Family. All good news, but here´s the bad part...I think I´ve figured out how long it takes everything to get to me here through the mail. DearElders, I believe, take about 8-10 days to get to me and regular letter sent through USPS take about 10-15 days to get to me. Keep two things in mind though, 1) I only get my mail on Tuesdays here in the Guatemala MTC and 2) I still receive them. I have NOT received Mom´s pouched letter or Grandma Welling´s second letter yet, but I´m sure they will get to me soon. =) Any letters/words/news are good, even if I dont get them for two weeks. =) So keep writing. Remember how much I love to hear from you all. Hunter Family, your words of encouragement were well received and I really appreciate the love that you guys have for me. Elder Ivey, I dont know if you´re ever going to see this, but thank you so much for your help and support. Know that everything is okay now. My emotions are under control, my spirits are high, and my Spanish is improving every day as I continue to blow the teaching practices (both English and Spanish) out of the water! ;) And Mom, dear, sweet Mother: I cannot express with an earthly tongue how much I love and adore you. Your words always help my spirits to soar! I miss my family EVERY day and I think of you all at least once an hour (which is definately a lot when you consider how many other things my brain has to jam into one hour here learning in the CCM). I wish you the best of feelings throughout your last six weeks of the school year. Finish strong and listen for the promptings of the Spirit. I´ve asked the Lord in the Temple to help you with your decision about your work and I know in my heart of hearts that if you will listen carefully, He has an answer waiting for you. Also, Mom, I think you are ABLE to send packages, but I dont know if it would be wise to send me anything. Yes, I´ve seen a package get through to another Elder here, but I dont know how long it takes to get here and how much the shipping costs are. Plus, I really am not lacking in ANY neccessities. I have everything I need to survive, I believe. The only thing you could really send me is more pictures of family and friends and maybe...candy. I´ve learned that candy, sugar, sweets are all like gold here in the CCM. Wanna talk about a diet? We get plenty of food here three times a day, but in between meals and sleeping there isn´t much else to munch on. Anyways, there´s really nothing else that I NEED. Oh, and thank you so much for sending me the Forever stamp books! I haven´t received them yet, but I´m sure they will be an extremely large blessing once I´m out in the field! And one more thing for someone very special in my life. Grandma Welling, I received the card you send me. Yes, I love your spanish! I will teach you more when i get home. And I´m really looking forward to any and every comminication that you send me in these next 99 weeks. =) I love you so much. Stay strong and loving for me and I´ll be home before you know it.

Everything here in Guatemala is going well! I would love to share all of the details of my last week here, but I dont have the time. So let me just share so highlights with you. Last Wednesday I was able to attend a meeting where we met our Central American Area Seventy President, Elder Clark. He is a joyful, yet stern man. He had many pieces of advice that I know will help me in my mission and life afterwards. Thursday we all took a fieldtrip into the City to attend a devotional by Elder Quintin L. Cook! He was one of the main instigators and editors of Preach My Gospel, and as an Apostle of the Lord, his words and adice completely fixated my attention. I´ve been the the Guatemala Temple twice and have loved every second inside it´s walls. I put many names on the Prayer Roll and have called down Heavenly Blessings on you all with the faith of my spirit. I have made many good friendships with my latino roommates and have used them to improve my Spanish by leaps and bounds. My Spanish is improving every day and I´m beginning to teach well in my mission language. I´ve lost 15 pounds since I get here and Dad´s jeans are getting to be way too big to wear. I´m going to need to pull out my own jeans earlier than i thought. =) I´m nailing all of my practice teaching sessions, in English and in Spanish. My confidence and power is growing. I can feel it every day! I have my first divisionals tomorrow and get to spend a day in the field. I´m very excited and everything is well with me. I love you all so much and cant wait until next week to here more.

Love Always,
-Elder Preston William Tucker

Friday, May 1, 2009

MTC Pictures