Monday, December 21, 2009

Email - Received Monday, December 21, 2009

Hey Family!

Guess what?! I love you all. Every single one of you. I`m so happy today because recently I have learned so much, received a ton of understanding, and I have fallen even more deeply in love with the Plan of Happiness that our God and Savior prepared for us as a family from before the foundations of the Earth. I feel sometimes like my head is going to short circuit or that my heart is going to explode because I hunger to learn more, I want to receive eternal understanding, but I just feel like my body can't handle it yet! Mom, Dad, I know you`re all going to laugh at me for using this example, but I feel like a character on Dragon Ball Z! On the show, in the fights, the protectors of the earth can only power up to a certain point before their body can't take the strain anymore and they just go out like a candle`s flame. I feel like with my understanding of the Gospel that I`m constantly hungering and thirsting for more power, knowledge, and capacity, but my brain, body, and heart can't take it yet. I feel so exhausted, but yet so happy sometimes after a really great lesson or a deep discussion with a member because I know that my testimony is growing. Just like you Mom, with your excersizes, I keep trying to push my boundaries, trying to get stronger, but sometimes I just have to lay on the bed at the end of the day and be sore and tired. Now, don't get the wrong idea, all of this that I`ve described so far is making me VERY happy! But yeah, sometimes my limitations bother me because I want so much more than I can have right now. I`m sure that, when you read this email, you`ll all shake your heads and say to yourself something like ¨Well, that`s Preston for ya.¨ or ¨Sounds like he`s still himself.¨ But I hope that that`s a good thing that you all miss me just as much as I miss you.

I`m not going to lie, this week I`ve been a bit baggy, thinking about family, home, snow, and Christmas. I just can't get you wonderful people off my mind. =P I cant believe that I left in April, and now it`s Christmas, but I can CERTAINLY believe that in a year from now, I`ll almost be home. New Year`s Day of 2011 I will have 21 months in the mission, and right now, that oddly doesn`t seem very far away. I will miss the mission, the opportunities to share and grow, but I will love being together with my eternal family even more! I realized today, actually right now, that I haven`t talked like this in an email for months, and that makes me happy. It lets me know that I`m doing a good job, focusing when I can in being a good missionary, making Heavenly Father proud of me, and continuing to vicariously bless MY family. Sometimes I feel very selfish, but if you can imagine this existing, I would call it a very HOLY selfishness. I just love you SO much that I can't describe it, and I`m eternally grateful that I already have a family sealed in the temple and we don't have to change much to bring the Gospel into our lives a little bit more each day. Thank you, Mom and Dad, for teaching me well, for raising me to be intelligent, and for helping me be a person who understands my potential as a literal Son of God! =)

Okay, so I got some awesome presents this week. Dad, I got your letter! =D It was awesome and I`ve read it several times over already. It was a little shorter than I thought it would be, but I`m so happy that you chose to include so many wonderful incites into your life. I don't want to burst your bubble though by saying this, but I kinda already knew a lot of the lessons you taught in your letter, but that just means that you taught and trained me very well! =) Mom, rest easy, I got my Christmas package! I haven`t opened it yet...thanks to the insistence of my companion to wait, but I`m getting very antsy to know what you sent me! I will be sure to pass your thanks on to Sister Paz and her family. They are wonderful people and we will really enjoy spending Christmas Eve with them. Also, I`m going to try to use a neighbor`s phone to call Unlimited on Christmas Morning, but if that doesn`t work, I`ll call you from our phone in the house using Dad`s instructions. It`s just that this other phone is connected to the States already through an internet connection and it also has Unlimited calling to the States. Alright, well I`m out of time this week, but I`m extremely excited to hear your voices this week! Good luck with everything, enjoy your vacations, and MERRY CHRISTMAS to all!

Love Always,

-Elder Preston William Tucker

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Email - Received Monday, December 14, 2009

Hey Family!

Like always, it`s wonderful for me to see lots of emails waiting to be read each week, but unfortunately the majority of the emails I got today were from the mission. Thus, I had to spend a lot of time reading other emails when I really wanted to be responding to YOURS! I only have about 15 minutes to write today, but I`m hoping that you all will forgive me.

I`m so glad that you all really enjoyed the email that I sent last week! I was hoping that what I had to say would put a smile on everyone`s face. I was excited about the opportunity to send Christmas home as well, because it provided me with a little more traditional way to express my love and adoration of you all. =) I`m going to get the package into Elder Hamblin`s hands this next P-Day, and I`m hoping that when he gets home, he`ll either immediately get it to my family, or at least he`ll hand it off to Caitlyn, who will be absolutely sure (like the wonderful friend she is) to get it to you. ;P

Unfortunately, today I dont have a ton of happiness and good news to share. Just the business end of things, I guess. I`m sorry. Next week will be much much better.

Dad, thank for you setting up a few things about the phone call home. I haven`t received any information about it from the mission office, but I`m hoping to learn everything I need to know tomorrow, in Zone Conference. Unfortunately, here in Guatemala, nobody uses any North American phone company. The companies are named Claro, Tigo, and Movistar. The huge cell phones that we all have in our houses use Tigo, so I think I will probably just get a huge phone card to use with Tigo. Like I said, I`m hoping to learn more tomorrow.

With regards to letter writing: yes! have received a coupld of letters from Josh! It`s been great to hear from him, and yes! I have written back to him. I just dont know if he has gotten the letters yet. I have NOT, however, written to Josh`s Family just yet. I should really get on that, seeing that this change I haven`t writen practically anything by hand. =( Oh! and Dad, I haven`t received your handwritten letter yet, but I DID receive the christmas card with the Christmas music! You guys are geniuses! That really did a number on me, having real Christmas music in the house. =) It makes me smile big every time we listen. My companion likes it too, so that`s even better. =) Also, I received the Missionary Mall package, and I love everything, and I`m using my shoes a ton, so thanks a LOT! =D I think I`ll probably receive the Christmas package tomorrow...that`s going to be tough not to open. =P Well, wish me luck and I`ll let you know how I`m holding up next week!

Baptism update! Once again, my companion and I had a very quick baptism this week. We started teaching Jairo, 13, and Diego, 9, last week on the 2nd, and they got baptized yesterday, the 13th! It was awesome, they understand really well, and almost their whole family came to support them. Maybe two more future missionaries to tally up! Oh yeah! =) Pray for their mom, Celeste, that she will have the strength and the love to reactivate completely and support her sons until they can support her in return! Also, please pray that this week my companion and I will find FAMILIES! We need new investigators, and families would be nice. Thanks! =)

Love Always,

-Elder Preston William Tucker

Monday, December 7, 2009

Email - Received Monday, December 7, 2009

Hey Family!

Awesome to hear from you all again. I love Mondays, I always leave the internet cafe with so many mixed feelings of joy, love, a little homesickness, and the prospect of how the next week is going to turn out. I know that Mom is probably counting the days, or at least the weeks, already so I thought you should know that I miss you all so much that I`m counting too. I have exactly 68 weeks left in my mission and I finally feel like I`m not so new anymore. Crossing the 8 month mark was big for me this week. It means that I`ve served a third part of my mission, that I still have a while to go, but it`s not at long as I always thought it was. I used to think that Sister Missionaries have it so easy...18 months, who CAN'T do 18 months?! haha And now I only have 16 left. It`s a weird feeling that inspires a lot of satisfaction and a little bit of fear in me. I realize that I need to be working hard for the Lord, that I should be having success no matter where I am, and how much trust I need to put in the Lord that He will put His chosen ones in my path if I live my mission right. I don't have a lot of baptisms under my belt, and who knows, I might not leave with many, but I know that I have enough time to change a few more lives before I have to give up my plaque and step off the plane. haha Can you tell that it`s Christmas time and it`s making me a tiny bit baggy? =P I`m not allowing myself to be sad or homesick because although I`m not at home, there are people here who love me and will make me a part of their home this Christmas season. The sister that we baptized in October, Carol Paz, has invited my companion and I to celebrate Christmas Eve with her family. She is planning a big dinner, even though her family is not huge, but is doing so to make us comfortable and to help us feel at home away from home. Mom, don`t worry, the Paz family is going to take good care of us. =)

A couple of things that happened this week, and a few that DIDN'T happen. One, I got my Missionary Mall package! I love my new shoes! The pants fit better, but their still too big! The bag is funky, cool, and I`m not sure yet how I`m going to use it because I bought myself a nice backpack about 2 months ago. Maybe I`ll use the new bag to proselyte and my backapck for divisionals and district meetings...I dont know yet. =) I love the candy that you sent! My family knows me well...redvines and peanut butter M&M´s...ooooooh yeah baby! =D Also, I`m very grateful that you got my debit card to me. Go ahead and activate it. I got a good tip from another missionary about my expired card: If I ever get robbed on the street, I`ll have it with me so that I can give it up willingly and avoid a conflict. I don't believe that I`ll ever get robbed during my mission, but it`s a great suggestion. Everyone loves plastic! haha President Cook`s promise in my setting apart has held true throughout my entire mission up until now: He promised that I would always be safe in my travels in my mission. I have never had one problem of safety, even though I have not always found myself in the safest of circumstances...actually almost never am I in the safest of circumstances, but know that you dont have to worry! =) Here`s a couple of things that HAVENT happened this week. I haven`t gotten your hand-written letter yet Dad, and I`m excited to see what it says and what I`ll learn about my dear old Dad! Also this week, our Zone Leaders cut a part of our area off to give to the sruggling other half of my original area. Elder Wernli and Elder Flores have really been struggling to find investigators and teach lessons, so they need the new part of the area badly, but it also cut the work of my campanion and I in half. We also had to purge the Area Book of all the registers and records that now belong to Sonora 2, which has left our Area Book skinny and very light weight. I`m actually kinda excited about that though, because that means that we can now fill it with all originial Elder Tucker and Elder Alvarez work. Should be a great opportunity. This week we will be extremely focused on finding a ton of new investigators to fill our tanks with fuel and our agendas with appointments. I feel more and more that Dad`s new work and mine in the mission field are extremely similar and will reflect the dedication that we have to find success on ours and the Lord`s terms. Overall, it was a very slow and disappointing week in the work, but it`s now up to us to make it better. =) Now our area is small, the members are in need of strength, and their neighbors are in need of the gospel. Should be fun! ;P

Thank you Mom, for the recipe, it sounds delicious. I`m going to put my diligence to work and find all the ingredients so that we can really celebrate Paula Tucker style! =) I dont know if I`ve ever told you, but I`m in love with your food Mom. I miss it, and I want it back, so be prepared to ¨hit me with your best shot¨ when I`m back home! Fire awaaaaay Momma!...Did ya get the pop culture-slash-Tucker Family taste-in-music reference? Hope so...alright moving on. =) Dont worry Family, I`m not going to be selffish this Christmas just because I`m in a foreign country. I`m sending home a Guatemalan Christmas! I`ve met a new friend here in my Zone named Elder Hamblin who came from, surprise surprise, 4000 West in Syracuse, UT! =) I`ve bought everyone little Christmas gifts and I will be sending the package home with Elder Hamblin. He goes home on the 28th of December and will be dropping by (a little late, but you understand) bringing my family a little bit of Guatemala for the Holidays. Also, I`m sending home a game that should help Dad study his Spanish along with the whole family. The instructions and the game board are all in Spanish, but dont worry, I think you`ll get how to play pretty easily when you see it. =P There will also be something that you all can use to have Gautemala in our home next Christmas too. =) Mom, Dad, excited! =D

Time`s up for today. I love you all to the Moon and back a bagillion times. Los extreño bastante, pero estoy en la obra de aquel que es el ùnico poderoso para salvar. Èl me pretege, èl me guia, entonces solo manden sus oraciònes, y todo nos saldrà bien!

Los Amo para Siempre,

-Elder Preston William Tucker