I`ve been missing you all so bad this week and a half...seriously, it`s getting out of hand. I miss my immediate Family, of course, but now I`m thinking about almost all of you as well. I think about my grandparents and how they`re doing physically and emotionally. I think about my aunts and uncles and how they are with handling our awesome extended family. I think about my cousins and how I would love to be helping them out both physically and spiritually in this crucial time when we`re all trying to grow up and start families. I think about a few of you more than others, but that`s only because the letters you send me keep me focused, informed, and conscious of you. I`ve really tried this change to write lots of letters. I write at night, when all of our reports and phone calls are done. I write in the morning, before study. And I write on P-Day so that I can really focus on writing in an organized way, responding to all your questions and needs. This week I wrote to Hope, Aunt Metzie, Amanda Dixon, Josh TImothy, and (of course) Whitney Robbins. They were all good letters and I felt accomplished when I got them all in the mail. I`m going to try to write a long letter to Jason this week and I`m going to venture into the unknown and write Whitney`s parents for the first time. They`re getting jealous of all the awesome communication that Whitney is having with Mom and Dad, so I better get on the ball and even up the score. Anyways, so I`m trying to really communicate with my family and friends, let them know that I love them and that they are still the most important people in the whole world to me. It`s with all YOU guys that I`ll get to spend the Eternities with, if we live worthy. I want to be with all of you in happiness and peace, but that will only come if we are constantly and actively helping each other to be a little better and climb a little higher every day! I know that my family has a strength that not even THEY have realized yet, and before I get home (through my letters) I intend to make everyone aware. Then, when I`m finally home, I intend on doing everything I can, everything you all invite me to do, do make sure we use our strength and come together on a whole new level. Sound like a good plan? I think so..especially because that`s God`s plan in a nutshell. =) I love my family!
Alright...this week was crazy off the wall with schedules and changing plans. First of all, interviews with President Baldwin were supposed to be two weeks ago...we had them on Monday instead. That`s why I`m having to write on a Wednesday this week...again. Ugh...sometimes having a leadership position in the mission is just a huge hassle...but I magnify my calling and that`s all the Lord really expects on me. So we got that done on Monday. I let my President know that Elder Garcia is ready for a new companion or a new area. I also told President that I have been having the feeling that I need a new challenge in the mission...the challenge of learning another language! =) In just Guatemala City Central Mission, the indigenous people speak almost 21 of the 28 native dialects that are spoken all throughout Guatemala. In the mountain Zones of our mission, there are three in particular that missionaries can learn to expand their ability to teach more people, because there are some native people that don`t speak Spanish at all. I told President in my interview that, because I was able to learn Spanish so quickly...I would love the opportunity to learn a dialect...while I still have the right to the Gift of Tongues. So...soon we`ll see what happens there...if President decides to send me to the mountains...I wont be training anymore, but I might still have a leadership position. Also, if I pick up the new language really quickly...it`s possible that I could stay in the mountains for the rest of my mission...tri-lingual missionaries are REALLY valuable assets in this mission. So that was Interviews. What was even more out of the ordinary was the fact that we had Zone Conference last Friday, before Interviews. We learned a lot about how to better teach the Commandments (Lesson 4 in Preach My Gospel) to members, recent converts, and our investigators. Also, President Baldwin gave a workshop about Tithing and how specifically it effects the Central American people. These people have the Apostolic Promise that they will always BE poor and they will always STAY poor...as long as they DON`T pay their Tithing. We felt the emphasis to teach everyone about Tithing and to increase our efforts as missionaries to teach them how to pay it. We`ll see if I can make that another focus of the rest of my mission...besides the glory and blessings of the Temple for families. And then, to top off all the chaos and traveling, our Zone was allowed this week to go to Antigua Guatemala for a P-Day activity.
It was my second time and I really enjoyed the opportunity I had to take it slow this time and see a few sites that I hadn`t seen before. I went to a Catholic ruin or an extremely old monastery and also a museum of Jade, the most precious possession of the Mayan people. It was way cool and I took a few cool pictures that I will be sending in a month or two. Also, with my friend Elder Domgaard, I went to Monoloco (the crazy cool restaurant/sports bar) and ordered that enormous plate of nachos again...but this time I didn`t conquer them entirely... hahaha If I would`ve had time...I could`ve finished them off, but when I got about 85% done...my Zone Leaders said that the bus was waiting and we had to go. Elder Domgaard and I just paid the check and took the rest of our nachos in a box to go. Later, I shared the rest with my companion. It was overall a good day and I got some pretty cool souvenirs. My favorite of everything that I got is a statue, craved from bone, of a family. I attached photos of it so everyone can see. It shows a father, a mother, and a tiny baby that are all hugging together. To me it struck me hard as exactly the way that I want my future family to be. It symbolized love, unity, and power for me...those are the exact thoughts that came to my mind as I thought about whether or not I was going to buy it. In the end, the price didn`t really matter to me, but I took it home and will look at it every day and renew my goal to make my future family in love, unity, and Priesthood power.
So those were the crazy event of my week...sometimes I just really want to be a normal missionary, without any assignments, so I can just focus all my time on serving the people I`m assigned to and NOT be running around arranging and rearranging the business and meetings of the mission. I guess that part of my mission might be behind me, but I hope to have that simplicity again soon. We`ll see what happens in Changes. Changes are coming up on the 3rd of May. If I stay in my area, it will be my 4th change in Santa Elena Barillas. To be honest, I would like to go to a new area, but I don`t really have a say in that. If my companion changes, I`ll be with my 7th mission companion. Again, I don`t have a say in what happens, but whoever I`m with, I`ll make the best out of my situation. So there ya go: next week I`ll get to email on Monday, and then a week later I`ll have to wait until Wednesday again. That`s my life...for now. hahaha
Okay, not for the personal stuff! =) I`m very happy that everyone is busy and that they all have a lot on their plates. I can testify with all my heart that Satan works the hardest on idle minds and hearts...so stay on your feet and go, go, go until you can rest on the Lord`s Day. However, don`t lose the opportunity that you have, like me, to slow down in the night time...tell you family that you love them...enjoy good food...and prepare your minds and hearts for the next days. The mind that goes the sleep running a million miles an hour is always just as tired in the morning as it was the night before. And you can quote me on that! =) So, Mom...make a list, take it slow, and it`ll all get done in good time. Dad...make list, delegate to your team, manage your jobs with prayer, and always allow the Lord to help you have good judgement. Hope...you`re off track, just help Mom out and play your guts out. haha Oh, and make sure you get ready for 6th grade! That`s crazy that you`re so old now...I`ve missed seeing you grow up.
Mom, it sounds like crunch-time has come for your second year at Syracuse. You`re awesome, just keep going. Take everything in stride and don`t try to do too much at the same time, okay? Don`t burn yourself out...you know nobody likes it when you do. When you have a little bit of time at night, I`m sure that Whitney would be more than happy to give you advice on how to start organizing, converting, and digitally scrapbooking your photos. She`s creative...just like you, so you`ll do wonders together. haha I love that my Mom and my Whitney have instantly become best friends that they laugh and joke and teach each other cool things. Now I`ve just got to hurry home so that I don`t miss out on too much of the fun! By the way...Whitney told me that you guys, my Parents, have invited her to go to Bear Lake this summer...without me! How rude...hahaha Seriously? That`s torture! haha Do it if you can, that sounds like a freaking ton of fun, but I`m gunna be SO jealous of Whitney...gets to enjoy my family way before I get too... hehe I`m not really scandalized...I just thought it was hilarious when i found out.
Dad! It`s good to hear from you again! haha Just kidding, giving you a hard time. I totally understand what`s been going on for you and I know that you`re doing your best to put your priorities in order. I`m a priority...but not until after business is taken care of and our Family is doing well. By the way,. thank you for finally bringing me completely up to speed on the family news. I am not worried in the least about what`s going on because I know that the Lord has blessed my family before to help us stay afloat, and he`ll do it again because I`m willing to stay in Guatemala and put my trust in Him. Oh, and speaking of staying ¨afloat¨, you`ve made choices that have made me extremely thankful and happy! haha I can`t tell you how disappointed I would be if we had to give up that special part of our lives to correct our past mistakes. I know that you know what I`m talking about, so I just wanted to sum up my feelings by telling you ¨Thank you, Dad!¨ And YOU...haha you need to cool down with the name calling between you and Whitney! haha This is why watching/knowing all about sports and tournaments and players and teams goes too far sometimes. haha Probably the same reason I never really put in the effort to know all that stuff...who knows if I`ll be into it when I get home. haha Oh, and just an FYI, Dad, when I get home...the priority for you and I will be having those ¨future conversations¨ that have been waiting so long for me, and you teaching me how to ride the motorcycle! I`m thinking that my best option when I get home will be getting a bike, waiting until I`m done with school, and then getting MY first car. What do you think? Thanks...I always love the opportunities that I have to learn from you. Oh, and keep me posted on the possibility that I`ll be a part of your Ebay team for the summer when I get home. I love you to the moon and back.
Okay, so this email is officially WAY too long and I still have one more person to email! ;P So I`m going to leave you all to enjoy the pictures and little bits of news from me this week and I`ll write again on Monday. I love you all with all my heart and think about you all the time. I share my love for you with our investigators and that helps them want the love that the Gospel inspires. Let`s all try hard to share and show our love this week so that Elder Tucker isn`t being a liar when he testifies that my family is strong and loving through the beauties of the gospel! =)
-Elder Preston William Tucker
P.S. Bad news...my little speakers (the ¨bullet¨) finally broke. haha They still charge up good and play sound, but their range is shot and the sound only comes out of one speaker now. I don`t know if they still make them anymore, but I was wondering if you would send me some new ones in the next care package? Also, Elder Garcia wanted to thank you for sending the Peanut Butter M&M`s and the Swedish Fish! North American candy is always a huge hit with the Latinos! =P