Holy cow, this week has felt like a month! It feels like forever since last Tuesday when I emailed last! but that`s okay, I`m finally at the computer and I can tell you all about my experiences! But first,. let it be known that I`m jealous that you all are having awesome summer fun, but at the same time I`m very happy with the changes that are happening in my mission right now. I feel like the next 8 months will go fast, but they will be filled with wonderful, rapid personal growth and lots of success in the Lord`s work. I`m not promising news of tons of baptisms every month, but I am promising that I`m finally on the fast track to becoming the man that Heavenly Father MADE me to be! I have divine potential, even in THIS life, and I`m determined to reach it!
Okay, so to explain my current situation, I`m now no longer with Elder Solis in Momostenango, in the mountains. Right now, at this very moment, I am in the city of Quetzaltenango (Xela) and I am in a trio of Zone Leaders. Our zone is called Xela Oeste (West Xela) and our area is called Garibaldia (don`t ask about the pronunciation, please =P). Our area is big, but small at the same time. It`s big in the fact that it is part of the very large, sprawling city of Xela and because of the population density in this part of the city. Basically, there are a lot of people living in a very small space. My companions are Elder Olsen, who is three days away from going home to Idaho, and Elder Burton, who is from Tennessee and has 10 months in the mission. They are both hilarious and very easy to get along with. Elder Olsen is ready to go home, but has been REALLY working hard to keep up his high work ethic to the very last day of his mission. He is doing wonderfully and is showing me a great example of how I need to think and work as a leader and a missionary until the end of my mission. Elder Olsen is tall, skinny, and down right funny! He is a missionary that is FULL of the desire to work for the Lord and bring glory to His name by setting a good example to everyone around him. I really feel that President Lorenzana put me with these two elders for a reason, and that reason was to learn how happy, healthy, inspired missionaries SHOULD work in the Mission Field. It worked. I feel inspired and ready for the next adventure that the Lord has to throw at me.
Before I tell you all about my next and final change in this crazy period of transition from Central Mission to Retalhuleu Mission to Quetzaltenango Mission, I want to share a couple experiences that I`ve had in the last couple days with Elder Olsen and Elder Burton. Here, in this area, working with the members and asking for references does NOT give much fruit, so most of what we`ve done to find new investigators is pure foot work, contacting in the street and door to door. We`ve gone on divisions almost every day in order to teach lessons and find new people to teach at the same time. During one of these divisions I was with Elder Olsen, and we had no plans for a couple hours. This happened yesterday, by the way. So...we start walking and listening to the Spirit. As we were walking down a busy street, towards a different part of the area that we hadn`t contacted before, we both turned our heads to look down a dead end street off to the left. We both kept walking about three more steps, but then we stopped together. We both just looked at each other and started walking into the dead end. We went all the way to the end of the street and knocked on the door of the last house on the left. Long story short, we ended up teaching a family of 5 people, all of baptismal age, and they opened themselves up to the message because of the GOOD example of the Saints they had met and seen in their normal, everyday lives. When we started teaching, this family did not have ONE trace of happiness on their faces...but once we prayed and left, they were all smiling and excited for the next time that Elder Burton and his new companion will come to teach them more. It was a miracle. The rest of the day was great, but that experience was the cherry on top of the cake. One other experience was that we had a baptism on Saturday of a 14 year old kid named Josue. His home is broke and invaded by the influence of tobacco and alcohol, but he has stayed strong. Satan was NOT happy about Josue`s baptism. When we got to the church to fill the baptismal font, a HUGE storm started over the city. The lights went out, the water pump stopped working, the plug of the font stopped holding water, and the signed permission of Josue`s mother got lost. However, we were determined to get this kid baptized. We prayed and worked and eventually, Josue got baptized, confirmed, and was given the Priesthood on Sunday. It was a great faith builder.
Okay, so I`m almost out of time (sorry again Whit...=( ), but I have enough time to tell you all about what`s now going to happen to me. On Wednesday, I will receive my final change: my new area, my zone, and my permanent companion. President Lorenzana told me many things in an interview that I had with him when Elder Solis dropped me off, but the important part for my change was that he told what he wanted me to do and learn in the months to come. President said that he wants me to be a Zone Leader for a while because HE, as a Zone Leader in his mission, learned all the important lessons that have helped his stay close to the Lord, listen to the Spirit, and have a success life with regards to worldly success. So, he gave me an option, I could either stay with Elder Burton once Elder Olsen goes home, and stay in Xela Oeste zone...or I could go back to Momostenango and help President organize and start a NEW zone in that city. I chose to go open the new Zone. So that means, just one more time, a new companion, a new area, a new culture, and a new ZONE! haha But i`ll be there for at least a month and a half...so no more moving around for a while. =P Also, I had heard a lot of the missionaries in the Retalhuleu Mission AND the Xela Mission say to me that President Lorenzana wants to and will make me his Assistant soon. I didn`t want to go on pure rumor, so in my interview with President, I got bold and asked him what His plans are for me and my mission. I asked him a direct question and I got a direct answer. President asked me why I asked and I told him that I had felt the same and I would LOVE to be his Assistant. He told me in return that he and the Lord feel the same. He says he wants me to receive learning and training as a Zone Leader, and then he will probably call me to be his Assistant within 3 months. I`m very excited for that opportunity, but I`m patient and excited to learn what the Lord has to teach me.
Lots happening, lots of jealousy about YOUR summers, but LOTS of happiness on my end of the world. =)
I love you, I miss you (but not so much anymore that I`m distracted), and I promise that my next few months in the mission will be the most fun, important, and exciting of my entire mission so far. Please read the Scriptures, pray OFTEN to Heavenly Father for help and guidance, and LISTEN to the Spirit when he tells you the Lord`s will.
-Elder Preston William Tucker
P.S. I know that I probably didn`t answer all your questions...but you gotta understand now...only 1 hour to read and write all the feelings of my heart and tell you all about my experiences is NOT enough time to make everyone happy...I just hope that this email has painted a better picture for you about how my mission is going and how I`m doing personally. I`m not stressed, but patient and excited. I`m in love with my Family, and I`m in love with the Lord`s work now. Be happy and be comforted, for all is well. =)