Hey Mom, Dad, and Hope!
And all of my other beloved friends and Family.
I`ve looked forward to Email Day all week this week to report on the news and the life of a Guatemalan missionary, and the week just kept getting better and more interesting as I waited. As I said in my last letter, sorry about the unannounced delay of my email last week. This week I have time to describe the reason for the delay. It was caused by a service project that the missionaries were a trial group for last week on Monday. Like Mom said in her email this week, if you check out the Guatemala news, the southern part of the country is having a realy hard crisis of food shortage because this rainy season hardly happened in that part of Central America. The crops depend on lots of rain falling each summer, but this year, for some unknown reason, it didn`t rain there. So practically all of their crops failed. =( BUT the Church, being the awesome support of the Human Family that it is, has committed supplies and money, along with other businesses and organizations, to put together food essential packs to send to the people who are currently in need. I spent Monday packing black beans, corn, sugar, and other essentials into about 30lb sacks to send. I think I heard that their eventual goal is to send 20,000 packs. Unfortunately there isn`t much that I know about that you all could do in the states to help. Just pay your tithing and offerings and support the Church, and they will continue to power through these trials here. I will also be able to spend tomorrow at he service project again, although it`s kindof a bummer because tomorrow, the 15th of September, is the Guatemalan Independence Day and also was supposed to be our P-Day. I don`t know why things conspire to take away cool P-Day experiences, but they have done and are doing the same tomorrow. Oh well, I`ll have P-Day on Wednesday and spend the holiday trying to help out as much as I can. =)
Yet again, I cant thank my family enough with the news, love and support that they send me every week. Really, even when nothing big happens, its the little things that really get me. I almost cried when I read a few familiar phrases that Mom and Dad sent this week, I`m a man and I`ll admit it willingly. I miss you all so much and I am truly sorry that I haven`t sent a written letter or a memory card lately. The mail system in Amatitlan Zone is kinda messed up. We can only receive and send mail when we meet with the Zone Leaders, and that isn`t as often as it was in Villa Nueva. Dont worry though, I`m working on it. I`m going to send all that I can this week and hope that it gets home soon. Keep the emails, letters, fasting, and prayers coming. The next project that I would like my family to work on is praying or fasting for our investigators to feel the deep spiritual need to attend church services at 8AM. I know it`s not something we really like to do, wake up early on Sunday and get dressed in Sunday Best, but in order for our investigators to progress, they need to be present in Sacrament Meeting. =) Okay? Great.
Seriously though, good job these last two weeks! Big pay off! =) We now have 4 new families that we are working with, hoping that they will come to church, and asking Heavenly Father to bless them with answers to their first true-intent prayers. =) And I have an awesome story to tell about this weekend and I hope you all enjoy it. Here it goes. So, on Saturday morning I got back to my area after having 24 hours of divisonals with another missionary in his area. My companion (who`s parents are named Jeff and Mary Jane Child, by the way Mom, if you`d like to try and look them up, they live in the part of Bountiful that`s closest to the Temple. =P) Anyways, my companion had left the night open so that we could go to a kinda upscale Colony in our area wher practically all the Ward Leaders live, so that we could go correlate and meet with their families. What he forgot was that they were all going to the Temple for a ward temple night on Saturday. So we were left with 3-4 hours of open time. We used it to get to know a litlte more about our area, but eventually we ran out of ideas. We were walking towards our home, but Elder Child received inspiration to visit an obscure, forgotten reference that a missionary who used to be in our area had received and tried to contact before he was changed. This woman lives in a set of apartment buildings that we had never visited before (not gunna lie, it`s because it looks like a sketchy neighborhood at night) but we went anyways and tried to find her. As we climbed the stairs and got to the top, there was a woman hanging her clothes out to dry, who turned, and in the darkness called out ¨Elder Pande?¨ We replied that we were not Elder Pande, but were looking for a woman named Carol Paz. She was the woman we were looking for, and she invited us in to her apartment to talk. We got to know her a little and found out that she used to receive the missionaries in her old house, was about to be baptized, but suddenly moved away. She was the most prepared person I have ever met and she accepted another appointment with her whole family for last night, Sunday. We then went to see her the next night, where she was waiting with her 18 year old son, and her aged father. Unfortunately her 16 year old daughter had to leave, but left saying that she was excited to hear more about our message the next weekend. =) We taught a wonderful first lesson, everyone participated, and we put baptismal dates with Carol and her son Luis. =P After the lesson, to help Luis with his school tests, we gave a Priesthood Blessing, and then to help with Carol`s father`s health, Julio is his name, we gave a Blessing of Health. Carol`s happiness and faith after all of this was almost tangible! It was a wonderful feeling! After all was said and done, including the closing prayer, we set our next appointments with them, for the next weekend, and Julio asked us to stop by during the week and bring him a bunch of Liahona magazines for him to read! How awesome is that?! I thought it was fantistically, miraculously spectacular. =) I hope you all liked the story. =D
Well, I`m about out of time for the week, so I have to conclude. I love you all, just like always. The time is starting to become less of a problem and more of a blessing. I`m beginning to fall in love with the missionary work and the spiritual high that comes with helping others accept Christ in their lives and their hearts. I want you all to know that I can truly say, with all my soul, that I am happy. I miss you all, and will surprizingly see you all in about a year and a half. =D Until next week...I love you and may God and His Son, Jesus Christ be with you.
-Elder Preston William Tucker