Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sorry, but things are still up in the air for now!‏

Hey Family!

I`m so sorry, but today I`m not able to send you much more than a "Hello" and "I love you!" I`m now in the Quetzaltenango Mission and everything is great. However, President Lorenzana sent me with a temporary companion for two days while he finds a new companion for Elder Solis (my temporary companion). In a few days I should finally be settled with a permanent companion and a new Zone and Area. The area that I`ve been sent to for these few days is BEAUTIFUL! It`s called Santa Ana, and it`s in the Zone Momostenango. Supposedly, a while back, this Zone was a "punishment zone," but I think it`s awesome! We just had a Zone Meeting and I got to know the Elders and Sisters in the Zone a lot better. I can feel the Comfort of the Spirit so strong here, it`s amazing. I`m hoping that President might send me back here someday, maybe for the last couple months of my mission...that would be cool! I`ll take lots of pictures of this area and my new area when I get there, as well as pictures of my companions. I`m ready to send another full memory card of photos, I just have to write a letter to go along with it. I`m sorry I don`t have much time or news yet, but next week I should have a LOT to say, okay? I love you all and think about my ever-growing appreciation for my Eternal Family every day. Please, this week, direct your prayers to my making a smooth transition into my new situation and also for the Zone Momostenango to be able to use their Zone Mission Plan to perfection and gain Success and Humility in the month of June. Search the scriptures, Ponder their application and meaning in your lives, and Pray for the testimony and strength to DO the Lord`s Will when He reveals it to you. I will be striving these next few months to do the same and to learn exactly HOW the Spirit speaks with ME as a unique child of our Heavenly Father. That`s my goal, please help me achieve it, because I know that with the help of my Eternal Family, anything is possible for Preston William Tucker

Love Eternally,
-Elder Preston William Tucker

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Suprise! Suprise!

Hey Mom, Dad!

I`m emailing really quick today to get you my new mission address. You`ll notice something weird though...the mission address is in Quetzaltenango... hahahaha Yeah, that`s the Surprise!!! Instead of keeping my original calling change to the new mission of Mission Guatemala Retalhuleu, I`m being changed AGAIN to the Mission Guatemala Quetzaltenango!

When i had my personal interview with President Lorenzana, Mission President of the Quetzaltenago Mission, I asked him if he had had a hard time assigning me when he received the large group of missionaries to assign from the Central Mission. He said that he has actually not asked the Lord specifically about MY assignment. I asked him if he would please ask the Lord, on my behalf, where I actually belong. I didn`t want to lose the connection and comfortable feeling that I felt as soon as I met President Lorenzana and his Quetzaltenango missionaries. I wanted to know for sure if I was supposed to belong to the NEW mission, or if I was supposed to belong to the long-established Quetzaltenango Mission.

Well, yesterday I had the opportunity after a Zone Leader`s Council to have a short interview with President. I asked him what the Lord had to say about my case. He asked me what I had felt in the last few days, and I told him. He then said, "the Lord feels as you feel. You`re coming with me to the Xela Mission (sometimes the Quetzaltenango Mission i called "Xela", pronounced "Shayla", because that`s the indigenous name for that city), and you`ll finish you mission with me."

So yeah! The surprise is that my mission calling has changed...yet AGAIN! I will now serve in the Mission Guatemala Quetzaltenango for the rest of my time and will be coming home on the 15th of March, 2011.

My new mission address is:

Elder Preston William Tucker
Misiòn Guatemala Quetzaltenango
5a. Calle 14-35, Zona 3 Oficina 105
Apartado Postal 206
Quetzaltenango, Guatemala C.A.

Alright, well that`s all I have time to write today. I`ll write you more about the changes I`m going to receive when I get Internet time next Monday. I love you all and hope that this week the Lord answers my constant prayers and helps you in your individual challenges and triumphs!

Love Always,
-Elder Preston William Tucker

Monday, June 21, 2010

Possibly the Fullest Week of my Life!

Hey Family!

Holy cow...where do I start?! This week has been so full that I feel like I met my new companion like 3 months ago and that we`ve been working non-stop for a month to get things organized. The thing is that the area that changed missions, the actual land area, was organized into a Church District, with two Mission Districts and 10 missionaries. Now District Tiquisate is still a Church District, but is now a Mission Zone. This means that this entire week we have been super involved in receiving trainings, organization, interviews, and preparation for when the new Mission President gets here. We want to get everything done so that when he comes in a week from today that he will be immediately able to work hard with all his training and strength. I`m not going to lie...for me it`s been stressful. BUT, and this is a King Size BUT, I have gone to bed every night feelings tired, satisfied, and ready to face the next day. The only thing that I haven`t liked at all is being so "out of the loop" with all the plans. We are having to make plans and attend meetings at the drop of a hat and at times we were doing things from hour to hour instead of day to day. Anyone that has ever experienced the sensation of organizing and managing a large group`of people knows that that is a very stressful situation. When a missionary can`t plan in advance...usually things get a little stressful for that missionary eventually. hahaha But it`s OKAY! I`m OKAY! I really enjoyed my week, and even though being a Zone Leader is tough, it`s satisfying. Our priority this week will be to keep organizing and planning, and then (in two weeks) our focus will be to dig in and WORK! Needless to say...I`m tired, but I`m having fun.

One of the really cool things that I`ve gotten to experience this week has been to travel all over a new part of Guatemala, even though traveling in buses and never getting to drive myself anywhere does get a Little annoying. I`ve visited three major cities: Mazatenango, Retalhuleu, and Quetzaltenango! They are all very beautiful, but also VERY different from the capital city of Guatemala. They are smaller, more level (without skyscrapers), and very twisty-turny. haha If you asked me to find my way around them, just from the small visits that I`ve had...I KNOW that I wouldn`t be able to. But everything was a great experience. The only bad part was that I never really got a lot of chances to take good pictures. I know that I still have plenty of time left to take pictures, but it would`ve been cool to have a few more memories of my first times in those cities.

Also, this week I had my first interview with President Lorenzana, a man that I`m sure that I KNEW in the Pre-Existence. President Lorenzana is the Mission President of the Quetzaltenango Mission and is a man that is FILLED with love and knowledge. He was a Gospel Teacher for over 15 years of his life and has an excellent knowledge and mastery of the scriptures and their principles and lessons. haha Just off-handily, during a lesson to the missionaries, he taught us that the plagues in Egypt was a type of Christ. At first I didn`t understand, but then he explained that "only after the death of His Firstborn could Pharoah let the House of Isreal go from their temporal AND physical bondage" and then I understood the connection. President Lorenzana teaches by inspiration and he understands the communication of the Holy Ghost more than any other teacher I have had in the mission. He is teaching me by example and is helping me to know who Heaven Father made me to be. haha Do you all remember how it frustrated me that my interviews with President Baldwin were all shorter than 5 minutes? Yeah, well my interview with President Lorenzana was over 30 minutes!!! It was incredible. He told us beforehand, "if any one of you have old sins that you have not repented for, tell me in your interviews and we will work through them once and for all!" So I did...I confessed everything and I know now that I`m as clean now, as a missionary, as I was when I was baptized as an 8 year old. I finally have the assurance that I am completely worthy for God`s work and ALL the blessings that He has to give me from here on out. Besides confessing and working through sins, I told President Lorenzana all about my family and my Eternal Love for them. He loves you as well. He feels like him and I must have been special, VERY close friends before this life because of the connection and familiarity he felt during our interview. I love that man, it makes me sad that I might not be under his direction in another week, but I know that we will see each other again soon.

Okay, now to answer questions: I don`t have my mission address yet, that`s why I can`t give it. You`ll all have it as soon as I do, okay? Patience is a virtue that I`M learning too! =)

My companion`s name is Franklin Guevara Vasquez. He is 20 years old (February 16th, 1990) and he is from El Salvador. He speaks Spanish and English because he went to a bilingual University and had to learn it to get good grades and a good job. He is a computer tech, through and through, and plays around on the computer through all the settings and systems as if it were all child's play. He operated his own business before the mission and is very smart. He is full of knowledge, but is also self-admittedly prideful. He`s working on that. He has 3 younger brothers, and no sisters. His parents are married in the Temple and His Father has served most of his life as a Bishop, Stake President, and IN Stake Presidencies. Elder Guevara has huge potential, and I learn from him every day. He has almost 10 months in the mission and has been a Zone Leader for 3 months now.

What I`m going through right now...I just need help to keep taking things as they come. We haven`t been able to do ANY normal missionary work this week because of how busy we`ve been with other stuff, but when it starts to calm down, I`ll let you all know.

I know that everyone is really interested in all the details of everything that is going on with the change in missions, but to tell the truth, I just don`t have enough time to ever communicate EVERYTHING here in the mission. Once I`m home, I`m sure I`ll be able to tell you ALL about it, but right now I can handle a couple specific questions each email. =P I love you all and hope that you enjoyed this email. The last tid-bit of news that I can share right now, before I end this email, is that I confirmed with President Lorenzana that with the new change cycle of the new mission, the Church will be sending me home three weeks earlier than planned. I believe that makes my departure date the 15th of March, 2011! I love you all, enjoy your week, work hard, and pray harder!

Love Always,
-Elder Preston William Tucker

Monday, June 14, 2010

Wow oh wow! How many changes can my Family take?!‏

I love my Family!

Today I needed EXACTLY what I got from my family: support, excitement, and LOVE! Seriously, the last three days have been the most impactful days of my entire mission! So much has changed and is still changing that I`m not exactly sure how to feel about it all. I`m just doing my very best to not feel overwhelmed and just trying to learn as quickly as possible so that I don`t make a fool out of myself. Okay, so here`s what all changed this last weekend: I changed missions from Guatemala City Central Mission to Guatemala Retalhuleu (in English it`s pronounced reh-tal-who-lay-ooo) Mission, I changed companions from Elder Segundo to Elder Guevara (he was transferred from Quetzaltenango Mission to the new mission as well, and is 20 years old, from El Salvador, and comes from a strong, Gospel centered family), and my assignment. I am still in my old area of La Nueva Concepcion, but I`m not sure how much longer I`ll be there because my new assignment might make me change areas. My new assignment is...duh, duh, duh, DA!...Zone Leader! The two districts that transferred from Central Mission have been made into a small Zone, which means that we are now independent of Central Mission and will be giving reports directly to the new Mission President when he gets here. I say "when he gets here" because he is still receiving HIS training and will come to Guatemala to take over the new mission in about 2 weeks. This means that all the missionaries that transferred to the new mission Retalhuleu are going to be under the direction of President Lorenzana of the Quetzaltenango Mission. President Lorenzana is a wonderful man and I had an immediate connection with him. He said to me that he considers it a loss for him to not be receiving me into his mission and also to be transferring my new companion to the new mission. He said many wonderful things to me, but I unfortunately did not get the opportunity to have a personal interview with him. The way that I found out that I was going to be a Zone Leader was kinda funny too because President Lorenzana, in the middle of talking to EVERYONE that was transferring, points at me and said something like this "Elder Tucker, don`t worry, I`m going to explain everything that is going to happen to your district in due time and the transition will not be all on your shoulders...OH, by the way, you`ve been called to be the new Zone Leader! Congratulations!" hahahaha I about peed my pants in that moment! I got really nervous and started to think immediately about what that meant for me, my friends in my district, our areas, and my MISSION entirely! Needless to say, that meeting was an INTENSE one for me.

I was sad to be leaving a few of my friends behind in Central Mission, but more excited to be starting a new one with a clean slate and TONS of new opportunities and challenges. I was also sad to say goodbye to Elder Segundo. He stayed within my Zone, but we`re no longer Companions. However, my new companion is excellent. He is dynamic, intelligent, knowledgeable and many other wonderful things. He also only has 9 months in the mission...he went up the ladder CRAZY fast. I`ll tell you more about him soon. But yeah, a lot of things are still up in the air until President Maravilla gets here and takes over. Now, under President Lorenzana, we have a whole bunch of new rules, but the strictness will help us form up and be obedient. This really is the GRAND opportunity to change my mission, and I plan on taking full advantage of it. Even just as of yesterday, a TON of things changed for me! But it`s all good.

I don`t have enough time to tell everyone about everything that happened to me in this change, but I`ll be telling the story a week at a time. I love all of you, just please keep doing your best personally and praying for to be able to do the same! I know that my family and my loved ones are all passing through many challenges, but I know that through study, prayer, and faith...TOGETHER we can come out on top!

Love Eternally,
-Elder Preston William Tucker

Sunday, June 13, 2010

"You`re changing missions?!" "Yeah!" "No way!" "YES WAY!!!"


I`m freaking out today because today I leave my area on a trip to Sololà and then to Quetzaltenango where I will receive instructions about how the future of my mission and my life is going to change!

E. Douglas - "Good morning Elder Tucker, how are you this morning?"

Me - "I`m doing great Elder Douglas, how about you? Hey, do you have any news for me?"

E. Douglas - "Actually, yes I do Elder Tucker. Elder Tucker, you and your companion and 8 other missionaries have been selected by inspiration and careful consideration to assist in the opening and furthering of the Lord`s work in the new Guatemala, Retalhuleu Mission!

"Me - (inside my head) " YESSSSSSS!!!!!" =D

Here`s what`s going to happen to me, as far as I know. As of tomorrow, Friday, June 11th, 2010, I no longer pertain to the Guatemala City Central Mission. Today, my whole district of 6 missionaries, and the district of Patulul of 4 missionaries, will gather at my house to make a good Latin lunch, and then we will take our scriptures, our backpacks, and clothes for 2 days, and then travel by bus to the Capital. We will sleep in the mission`s bunk house over night, and in the morning we will all leave (with the rest of the Central Mission missionaries that will be going to Quetzaltenango Mission) in route to the city of Sololà. Once there in Sololà, we will participate in a so-called "reuniòn de despedida" and receive more instructions on what is going to happen to us, our area, and our investigators with the changes to the other two missions. Friday night, supposedly, they are going to put us all in a hotel for the night, and then the next day we will meet with Presidente Lorenzana, the Quetzaltenango Mission President, and he will give us all the training and information that we need to smoothly make the transition to the new mission.

I am SO excited that the Lord has seen fit to give me this opportunity to leave behind challenges that I`ve already overcome, and face a whole new part of this beautiful country of Guatemala full of the NEW challenges of being part of the beginning of a brand new Mission in the Work of the Lord. My hopes and dreams have been completed with respect to the course I wanted my mission to take, and I see before me the ability and the opportunity to leave behind a Legacy for the missionaries that come after me and my own children that will want to know whether or not serving the Lord is worth the effort and time. My answer to their question will be a resounding "YES!" because I have been able to bless my family, myself, and people that I never knew (and probably would never have met) before I had this beautiful experience.

Okay, so this involves a couple changes in OUR plans. What I have heard is that the new mission will follow the change cycle of the Quetzaltenango Mission, which is three weeks different from the Central Mission. This means that I may return to my area for just three weeks more with my companion, and then receive changes to fulfill any number of different responsibilities in the new mission. This also means that it`s possible that the new Mission President, Presidente Maravilla, will offer to either extend or cut short my mission by at least three weeks. I want my family to know that I will NOT accept an extension. If they offer to cut my mission a little shorter, while still allowing me to come home with full honors, I will take that option. Therefor, if they cut my mission by three weeks, my new Homecoming date will be for the 15th of March, 2011. Exciting huh? That means that, once the normal change cycle starts in Retalhuleu Mission, I will only have 6 changes left until I come home. Possibly just two areas and a couple companions more, and then I`m home! I`m so excited for the possibilities that face me for the last couple months on my mission, and I`m sure my family is too. I miss you and love you terribly. It physical hurts, still being far away from you, but every day brings me close to coming home with honor in my arms and blessings for our future. =) Please continue to pray for me, that the Lord with protect me and guide me, that I will know what to do and what to say at all times and in all places to finish my mission as a "Special Witness of Christ."

I do not know when I will get to email again, so for now, please be patient to hear more news. I love you!

Love Always,
-Elder Preston William Tucker

Email - Received Monday, June 7, 2010

Hey Family!

I love you!

Okay, so this week I got three emails from the people I love most in the world, and they all were full of wonderful news and beautiful encouragement. Thank you! I needed that, as always, but mostly it was just a HUGE "upper" for me today to hear you all being happy, busy, and productive. Oh, and Loving, did I mention you were all very loving this week? Yeah, that was awesome. However, I`m not going to rant and rave about your emails today, Dad says I`ve gotta answer questions. =P

First of all, I`ve gotta explain something, and I`m going to try to be as brief and clear as I can be. Everyone...I might be changing missions soon! I might become part of a new Guatemalan mission called Retalhuleu, or I might be transferred to the Quetzaltenango mission. The Guatemala City Central Mission is giving up 43 missionaries to help form the new Guatemalan mission Retalhuleu. Ten missionaries will go to the new mission, and 33 will go to the Quetzaltenango mission that has been around for a LONG time. I`m so excited for the new opportunities that this possibility represents for me. I would be in a new mission as one of the first missionaries to serve there, with a new Mission President, and with a whole range of new challenges and positions to fill. I really hope that I change missions. Not because I don`t like MY mission, but just because of all the awesome stories that I would be able to tell I if I were to serve in TWO different missions with two completely distinct groups of missionaries. Anyways, I wont know exactly what`s going to happen to me until Saturday. They`ll tell us on Wednesday if we change missions, but I wont know until Saturday exactly WHERE I`m going and WHAT I`ll be doing there. It should be extremely interesting! Pray for me to have my dreams come true! hahaha!

Oh, also, what this means...If I`m going to change missions...I`ll probably leave my area behind and be assigned somewhere else with a new companion and new responsibilities...so don`t focus your thoughts and prayers too much on Nueva Concepcion right now...just that I`ll be guided and protected where ever I get sent in the coming days. Thanks!

Okay this last week was not eventful at all because there wasn`t really anything out of the normal routine to do. We gave a lot of service, and taught a few good lessons, but that`s about it. On Saturday, our branch basically restarted their Mutual program and we had a great turn-out. About 15 people showed up, of all ages, and everyone had a good time and were spiritually uplifted. Our class was small this week, but many people came to church. Our attendance was about 60, but a lot of them went to their normal classes because they didn`t know that we were going to have a class yesterday. After the second hour, we gathered the Priesthood and Relief Society classes together and had a big class to explain the programs we are trying to reinstate and the changes that might come to the area. I`m a little worried that la Nueva Concepcion might get left without missionaries for a while, so we prepared and instructed the members on their coming responsibilities. If the missionaries leave, they will be on their own and they will HAVE to do their visits in order to keep the branch on it`s path to growing strength. I`m worried, but I know that the Lord will guide and protect the branch, its members, and its leaders if they are listening to the Spirit.

DANG it...I`ve already run out of time...I have no idea where the time went today...but maybe, due to the changes I`ll be facing soon, I`ll get to email you all again later this week. We`ll see. I love you all! Keep praying for us, we need your help always.

Love Always,
-Elder Preston William Tucker