Hey Family! Hi Friends! It`s me again. =)
Usually when I get to write home I know where I`m going to start my emails...but today I`m not really sure...so I`ll just start by talking about what`s on my mind to tell you all. This week was good and so-so at the same time. The awesome news is that Antonio, 14, and Rebecca, 11, of the Family Morales got baptized and confirmed this Saturday. We`ve had it planned for a long time now, but it`s still great that I`m keeping my perfect record of not having baptismal dates fall through. They both had me baptize them, so I got wet this week! =) I like this phrase that I can say when we`re going to baptize, ¨Voy a mojarme, voy a mojarme!¨ which basically just means ¨I`m gunna get wet!¨ haha Fun way to look at it, at least for me. Also, they were both confirmed members on Sunday and Antonio actually asked me to confirm him. I was really nervous because I had never done that before and I also had to do it in front of the entire ward. It was a great experience though, as I don't really remember what I said in the blessing after conferring the Gift of the Holy Ghost on him, and for me that almost always means that it was a blessing directed by the Spirit. After baptizing twice the day before and then confirming once, I felt very tired. I think you all would be surprised at how much it takes out of a guy to use the Priesthood to perform blessings and ordinances. I know it surprised me the first time I really experienced it. It`s a good tired though, because I know why I`m tired and it`s because I was being utilized as God`s messenger and advocate. We`re still working on getting their inactive mother to come back to Church, but there are a couple things working against us. She works for the police, so sometimes she works on Sunday, and it always seems that she gets sick when she CAN come to Church. We dropped by their house after the Sunday meetings and we gave her a blessing of health. It was a great experience for me because after I had pronounced the blessings of health on her head, I felt compelled by the Spirit to expand the blessing. The words that I spoke were about their future as a family. their responsibilities as new members and a part-member family, and the blessings that were awaiting them when they finally become a forever family in the temple some day. Anyways, that`s what happened with Familia Morales this week. Thank you all for your support and prayers on their behalf. If you`re wondering about their current needs, we need to get Sister Lucky to start attending church with her kids, we need Brother Eric to find good solid work so that he can marry Sister Lucky, and then we need to get him baptized as well. Maybe this could all happen in the next two weeks before changes...I dont know, but I`m hoping and praying that it does.
Now to answer a few of your questions. Be aware that changes are on the 24th of this month, so all of this could be changing in about two weeks. My current companion is Elder Rodriguez from El Salvador. He is 24 years old and is finishing his mission this change, he`ll be going home on the 25th. He is kind of a closed-off, stoic personality, so it`s hard to be good friends with him, but at least we`re getting along. He obvoiusly has a lot of doctrinal knowledge after already serving his complete mission, so it`s good to teach with him and learn from what he does. He`s very good at touching items in a lesson that I forget when it's my turn to speak. He doesn`t criticize me very often, and when he does, it ends up helping me out so...as of right now that hasn`t stressed our companionship much. We get along, he`s getting ready to enter his life outside the mission again, and there aren`t any real problems between us so this change has been pretty smooth in those respects. Still, it`s been kinda tough to not have many people to teach and to not be able to fill our daily schedules at all this change...and I`m trying to figure out if there is a lesson I`m not learning, but as of right now, nothing that we`ve done has drastically improved the situation. I still love the people, still love the ward, still love our investigators, but I`m having a hard time loving the ¨finding¨ part of the work. I`m sure it`ll get better soon, but please keep praying for our sakes. Even if we have to find our investigators one by one, we`ll find them.
A little about Promision. Sorry Mom and Dad, I`ve tried to find my area on Google Earth too, but I was unable to. The only thing I can tell you is try looking for ¨Villa Nueva¨, then within Villa Nueva look for ¨San Jose¨. I do know that it`s somewhat near a lake called Amatitlan. But be sure not to confuse that with the lake Atitlan, the bigger of the two and the more beautiful as well. This is nestled up against a bunch of hills and is about 10 miles away from the ¨Volcan de Agua¨ which means ¨Water Valcano¨ which...really doesn`t make sense to a gringo like me. I do know that the city Antigua is on the other side. Almost the entire area is a kind of suburbish residential block, so there`s not a ton of forest within the city, but at the limits there is plenty. I`m sure I could get easily lost if I tried to go hiking without someone who knew the way back. Regardless of the relative abscence of ¨jungle¨ in the residential areas, there is still plenty of green. The climate is still awesome and cool. Some days are a little warmer than others, and some days there is rain, but overall it`s still to my liking. From what I`ve heard, the climate is like this because we`re still part of the city. The city, or at least the main part, was built in a valley that has excellent geographical shelter, and is rather beautiful. I think it`s because of this that it`s climate is so great almost all year-round. Apart from the weather, yes, we`re still part of the main city of Guatemala City, but that doesn`t really mean what you think it`d mean. Our area still has extremely poor people that live in metal and wood shacks, really messed up dirt roads, and tons of garbage in the street. Some parts are better planned and better constructed than others, with a sort of cobblestone paving in the main streets, and almost a nice grid network...almost. haha Although I say it`s ¨better¨...remember that that term is relative. haha The addresses are still really messed up at times and sometimes references take hours to find. They also don't have a good sewer system, so when it rains hard...the streets sometimes become rivers than are impassable if you want to keep your feet any type of dry. =/ Sometimes it makes it hard to go out and work, but we still do. I still like our house and like living in a way that`s just sufficient for two young men that spend hardly any time at home. Some companionships have large houses that are way more than they actually need, and any time that I go on divisionals to these houses I feel out of place, like we have too much. I don't know if that makes sense, but it does to me so...hahaha Dont know what more to tell you. Remember, it`s very possible that I`m going to change areas and it`s certain that I`m going to receive a new companion. This is just what it`s like currently and is subject to the one constant in the mission...change!
So that`s a lot about where I`m at, what it`s like, and who I`m working with. Honestly, I would kinda welcome a change now, but if I stay I will have a lot of cool new opportunities. If I stay in Promision,`I will probably rise to Senior Companion or even Trainer. The Mission President is converting our Zone into a Training Zone for the new missionaries to start in. The other two zones in the capital are both Training Zones now too, so this is just another progression towards that goal. I dont know how I feel about the possibility of training...but anything President throws at me, I`ll try to catch and run with it as well as I can. I appreciate your support and prayers more than you all can imagine. Keep it coming. Mom, Dad, and Hope, I love you all so much and continue to miss you the same. I`m sure that`ll never change in my mission, but at least I can focus on making lots of memories to share with you when I get home. As for now, this email has been all about my mission. I hope everyone enjoys it. Cant wait to hear more from everyone next week, and I`ll keep you all informed as well. =) Oh, and Mom and Dad, I`m already starting my 21st Birthday Wish List, so get ready! ahahahaha =D
-Elder Preston William Tucker
P.S. Dad, I came across this scripture in my study of the Bible and I thought about you immediately after reading it. It`s Dueteronomy 28:12-13. It has to do with you being a Latter Day Saint, and also with your business that you are working so hard to grow and develop. Just remember that it will never grow faster than when you have the Lord on your side working to keep his end of the deal. Just like the Family Tie you sent me with with D&C 82:10 on it, keep his commandments and his promises are yours to enjoy. =) Hope you enjoy. =P Love you, miss you, cant wait to get your letter nest week. Have fun with the Priests and help Brad out as much as possible. Dad...I`m really glad that you`re my Dad!