Hey Family and Friends!
Okay, so I`m kinda freaking out a little about this coming week because I am turning the big TWO-ZERO! I`m so old... hahaha Not really, but that`s how I feel. I realize that I`m not a child at all anymore: not in body, not in spirit, not in intellect. I`m happily participating in the grand plan of our Heavenly Father called ¨Progress!¨ I do not know if this next year of my life will see huge changes or small adjustments, but I am very excited to find out. I feel a little sad that my family will not see me at all for my entire 20th year, but at the same time I`m happy because you all will get most of my 21st, which in some ways is more important. I feel like I`m growing up, in the mission, and in my spirituality. My testimony has changed from being passive, but powerful, to active and potent! I feel like I can communicate and plant the seeds of testimony in others now; something that I will need desperately as a father and husband in a few years. I feel like people, even here in Guatemala, see, hear, or learn of me and respect me as an adult. I know that I can make my own GOOD decisions now and that if I went out on my own into the world, I would find success on all levels. I feel good. I feel strong. And I feel loved! =)
This week has been full of many ups and downs. We were finally able to complete the mission goal of finding three new families in one week. We found the Marta, and her three kids, Antonia, and her whole family, and William, his wife and little daughter as well. Your fasting, prayers, and love has paid off, yet again. Good job Family, you`re a rockstar! =) We were able to work well with a couple members, although we did not receive any references this week. We need to visit more of the inactive and less active members so that we can strengthen the branch from the ground up. We will not be able to retain the families we baptize until we are able to fill the chapel with priesthood and testimony. Also, we will need your prayers to help us have the opportunities and ability to organize the branch into an effective tool in the mission work in Santa Elena Barilla. I feel like I will be here for a while, so we better buckle down and help nourish this part of the Lord`s vinyard. Also, a bit of news that our only present baptismal date with a 19 year old boy named Selvin Caserez got pushed to the 7th of February because he needs help keeping the Word of Wisdom. Please pray for him, as we work to help him enter the waters...
This week Elder Ostler and I, and our whole zone for that matter, will be celebrating my birthday with a really cool activity. Okay, well, to be honest, it has nothing to do with my birthday and everything to do with having a cool experience as a zone, but...we`re going to see some Mayan Ruins! =D Can you tell I`m excited?! We`re going to a place called Mixco Viejo (Old Mixco) which, as the Zone Leaders have told me, is a big archeological site with beautiful ruins that we can take pictures of and climb! Expect cool pictures! ;P By the way, that reminds me that I will be writing a letter with a memory card in it soon, so get excited for that as well. =) After we get home from the ruins, we`ll be bushed, and what better way for Elder Ostler and I to relax than...to COOK?! =) We`re going to cook a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and have some Symphony chocolate on the side!!! =D How well does my family know me?! I got your birthday package this week when we had interviews and when I opened it, I was very...oh how shall we say...HAPPY! Although (sorry for the frequent side-bar, rabbit trails in my thought process) Mom, you should probably pack my packages a little less tightly from here on out... My christmas package was awesome, but everything was covered in peppermint and chocolate because the Peppermint Bark tub opened during the trip to get to me. This package...was even a little bit more messy! haha =P Mom...I`m in a country who`s biggest export is CANE SUGAR...so it probably wasn`t necessary to send a BOX of sugar in a package full of new clothes and fun games... hahahaha! We thought it was hilarious and a bit sad that when I picked up my package, it was leaking sugar from the coners! At the buss stop, where I was sitting, underneath there was a two inch hill of spilled sugar before I noticed it again. and when we got home...I opened the package and had to shake the other half pound of sugar out of my totally awesome pj`s and pretty much every single package and letter that was sent in that box. It was hilarious, but a little sad at the same time. So yeah, Mom, just take that into consideration next time please! I love you! =) I loved all the gifts, cards, and pictures I received. You all made my week!
Okay, so just a few results of what I have done with my birthday package so far: I made the Fantastic Flake Candy and shared with Elder Ostler, and he fell in love with it. We shared some with our favorite members, and they loved it. and I still have enough to do it SEVERAL more times! =) Oh! and I did all this, while wearing my new pj`s and t-shirt! You guys scored this birthday. But only one thing wasn`t perfect...the ring is a size 11 and my fingers are probably more like 12`s... sorry. =( Maybe I`ll give it as a gift to a baptism in these next months. How about that? =)
Alright, so I`m out of time for this week. Love you all! Thank you for your birthday wishes and prayers. I`ll keep you posted on our progress and if you would, pray that Elder Ostler and I get another change together so that we can baptize a ton of cool new families. =)
-Elder Preston William Tucker