Monday, September 27, 2010

Change Week!‏

Hey Family!

Oh man, this week has been LONG! but that`s okay, cuz it`s over now. haha A lot of stuff happened that I can`t explain in an email and it was just really disorganized. I hate the last week of the always seems like everything slows down to almost a stop or everything falls apart in the zone.`s okay though, this week is change week and I think my situation is about to get a lot better...we`ll see.

We now receive changes on Tuesdays and we meet our new comps and areas on Wednesday. Next week I`ll be able to tell you all about what happened next Monday.

Oh man, I just gotta call and It sounds like I gotta get off the computer. This is NOT cool. I don`t get time to send you much at all...This is one of the reasons I don`t like being a zone leader on Mondays...I have to send ALL the data that EVERYONE asks for and I haven`t received very much, if ANY support from my companion. Oh well...

I`m sorry this email is so depressing...I promise I`m fine and I`m happy. My week went well and we have taught some very good investigators. Rosaura is progressing slowly, might get baptized on the 9th of October. We are now teaching a man named Josè and he is progressing rapidly, just like Benanrdo Poncio did in July. Also a new family came out as a reference and we might have a little success there too. I`ll let you know next week if I stay in my area or what happens. I`m so sorry for the lack of stories and basically lack of email, but I can`t do anything more this week. Forgive me please.

I love you all and am SO proud of you! You`re all doing wonderfully and staying strong in the Gospel. I love my Family eternally!!!

Love Always,
-Elder Preston William Tucker

P.S. I`m excited that you`re going to be able to finish the Book of Mormon together by February. I`m just finishing it again in Spanish and then I`ll dedicate myself to English until I`m home. I`m starting Ether today. =)

P.P.S. Hope, AWESOME job with the soccer and swim. SOOOO excited to see you perform once I`m home.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Good Week For Emails!!! =D

Hey Family!!!
Oh my...I knew it was going to be a good week for emails...but I had no idea HOW good!!! Seriously I think this weeks emails were my favorites of 2010! So much has happened in the last week at home and I just love hearing about it. It`s so wonderful to hear just line after line of GREAT news! Oh man...I feel exhausted from smiling so hard and feeling so happy and blessed. hehe This is the best feeling of the week: knowing that my family loves me, thinks about me constantly, and is strong in the Gospel, loving their Father and Savior. No lie, THE best feeling far! =P

This week was a regular week with not a lot going on. I had my last divisions with the other areas and elders in my zone and everything went according to plan. I was able to really feel the Spirit speaking through me as I taught the younger missionaries in my zone just how to be an effective, faithful missionary. I was able to share experiences from home and the mission to answer their doubts, questions, and challenges. I was able to use the Scriptures and Preach My Gospel to teach and instruct them through the Spirit. I was also asked by one of them to bear my testimony to him about exactly WHY the Church (and the Lord) needs us as 19 year old on a two year mission. I was amazed by my own response. It was possibly the most fervent testimony that I`ve ever given of the Mission Work. It made me feel very good to know for sure that I KNOW why I`m here, why the Lord sends us, and how the mission eternally effects our lives for the better. I am comfortable as a missionary and I know that no matter what, whether I`m baptizing or just teaching and contacting a ton, I am still completing my purpose as a missionary of the Lord. I try my best to teach the Gospel as simply as I possibly can so anyone can understand. I try to use good examples and parables so that my teaching reflects that of the Savior`s. I try to bear my testimony in every opportunity that the Lord gives me and then leave it to the free agency of my brothers and sisters to accept the message I bear or not. I now understand that I will never fully comprehend the scope of what I`ve done in the mission. How many seeds I`ve many lives I`ve helped the Spirit to many of our brothers and sisters will eventually receive salvation because I opened my mouth. But I know that I`m doing what the Lord called me to do and I glory in my God! =)

The highlight of this week was something that I might catch a lot of flack for from all of you at home, but it`s my email, so I`m gunna tell whatever stories I want. haha Just kidding. Unfortunately I haven`t been in my area much this week because of the divisions. Also, unfortunately, most of the investigators that our zone has right now are NOT the "chosen of the Lord." We`ve learned that Satan is constantly trying to beguile us and put investigators in our ways that we may think will progress, but are really just distractions and decoys for now. We are instructed to gather the chosen, and the zone is having a hard time finding them right now, but that`s what I`m here for, to help the other missionaries sort through the masses and start spending their time effectively with those that WILL be baptized. So, because this week wasn`t great for teaching, my story and highlight has to do with FOOD! =) One of the elders in my zone taught me this week how to make banana bread and deep fried SCONES! So, last night, Elder Kahawaii and I (we are no wonderful friends and understand and work with each other well now, hallaluya!) made a batch of scone batter! IT was incredibly tasty and we thoroughly enjoyed them! To the point that, by the end of the batch, we were sick of scones and felt like we went to sleep with dough bellies! haha we played card games and listened to gospel music after we planned and while we ate and we just had a good time. I`m excited to share my meager, but tasty cooking skills when I get home. =P

I`m so happy and pumped to hear all about how wonderful and stressful and challenging things are at home. We only really grow stronger when we`re pushed to our limits, ya know. =D Something I`ve learned in the mission. Good thing to know huh? I`m just happy that everyone is trying the best and hardest to overcome their challenges and trials and is doing it all with a wonderful attitude of service and love. THAT`S the family I know and LOVE! Just always keep in mind that I`m gunna be home soon, so you`re all gunna have to pick up the pace to keep up with me! hehehe Just kidding, I`ll probably have a lot of slack to pick up in comparison to my hard working family, but I`m ready for the challenge.

This next week is changes, but I`m almost sure that I wont have a change. Elder Suazo, my old companion and no assistant to Presidente Lorenzana, came by to work in the Zone this week and sat down with Elder Kahawaii and I and told us about how President has been feeling about our companionship and past trials. He was going to take us both out as Zone Leaders and put us in a new area TOGETHER, but as normal missionaries. President (AND the Lord) sees our companionship as a crucial training for our future marriages and think that if we were unable to overcome our differences and become an effective companionship, we may eventually fail in some trial in our marriages. Therefore, He has shown faith in us and has told us that we will be staying together for Elder Kahawaii`s last change, still as zone leaders and still here in Momos Oeste. I`m excited for the opportunity. I know that it`s a tough area and baptisms don`t come easy, but we`ll work hard to lift the zone. I wasn`t at all excited to "kill" another missionary, but I think it`ll be okay to be Elder Kahawaii`s last companion. If we DO receive changes, that`s fine too. I`ll do what the Lord wants me to do.

Okay, I gotta write another small email before my time is up, so I`m gunna say goodbye. I love you all and THANK you for your emails and news this week. It was wonderful! Stay strong and remember to write next week. =)

Love Always,
-Elder Preston William Tucker

Monday, September 13, 2010

Good Week, Fun Stuff!‏

Hey Family!

haha YES! Finally! haha I got mail from BOTH parents and a special someone as well! haha Good week for emails...I knew I was going to need it. First of all, I want to thank you for fasting for me. I know that the purpose of the fast was a little superficial for most people, but for me it was needed. However, just because I say that I needed help to keep from being "baggy" doesn`t mean that I`m a super baggy monster. haha It just means that I love my family, I see things that often remind me of you all during my days, and I`m conscious of the decreasing time that I have left in the mission. Family, I AM ENJOYING MY MISSION, okay? hahahaha I`m fine...I just need a little help every once in a while to shake off the feeling home getting closer. I`m trying very hard to focus on my responsibilities as a Zone Leader and to help lift my companionship and zone to a new level at the same time. The great news is that most of the zone is feeling good and having a good time. Even better news is that my companionship with Elder Kahawaii is getting much better. Last night, in fact, we went to bed late because we were up talking and laughing about just normal things that friend talk about. I have two weeks left in this change (wow that went by pretty fast huh?) and I`m ready to enjoy every day.

This week our plans are to have divisions with the companionships in our zone and to teach them abut the training that we as Zone Leaders received. There are also a couple elders that need help figuring our how to work better in their area. Elder Kahawaii will be going out to the areas and I will be staying in Los Riscos. We will also be trying new ideas and methods to find new investigators and receiving more, better references. Rosaura is doing well, however, it seems like her baptismal date may have to be pushed back a week or two. She thought her doctor`s appointment to check and see if she can be submersed in the water was on the 17th of this month. It now seems like that appointment is for NEXT week, so we may have to baptize her in two weeks on Sunday or close to that date. I`ll keep you all posted. Our last lesson with her went well and she has expressed that she wants to be baptized and also that she believes the Book of Mormon to be the word of God. It was a good experience. Now we`re just teaching her about the Restored Church and she`ll be praying to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. Pray that she recognizes her answer, cause we all know that she WILL get an answer if she listens.

This week the highlight was a new activity that Elder Kahawaii and I did on Wednesday. Here in Momostenango, market day is on Sunday and Wednesday. That means that on those two days the streets are packed and there are people everywhere. We went to the central park of the city and set up a table with pamphlets, books of mormon, and pictures of the gospel. A TON of people were interested in listen to us. We split up and were able to teach FOURTEEN lessons in one day and we gained 8 new investigators. We`re going to do it again this week, I just hope it turns out as successful as last week. Unfortunately, Elder Kahawaii cut open his knuckle over the weekend, so we had to get him to Xela to get stitched up, so that cut into the time that we had to go look for the people we taught in the park. I`ll do better about that this week.

Overall, the work is going well, but not SUPER. At least, not yet. I have two more weeks in this change and then just 3 changes left until I`m home. Pray that I`ll be sensitive to the Spirit and that we will find "the chosen ones" and I`ll be fine. I love you all and love your news and emails and letters. Stay strong, pray hard, and play your hardest.

Love Always,
-Elder Preston William Tucker

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Monday, September 6, 2010

What a GOOD Week! =D‏

Hey Family!

Okay, so I`m gonna have to make this email really quick, so I`m typing like a madman! Please excuse any spelling errors or grammar mistakes! haha

This week has been AWESOME! So I kinda hinted before that the Church has come up with a new way to train missionaries to use Preach My Gospel. This week our Mission President gave all the Zone Leaders in the Xela Mission a 3-day training session on the new curriculum and it was AMAZING! Nothing changed in the actual book of PMG, but the focus that they place on the way to apply it changed quite a bit. I`ll just explain it quickly right now because I`m almost out of time, but later I`ll be talking more about it because I have to train my zone on it and it`ll become a big part of my mission for the rest of my time. The focus is no longer on just teaching the material by the Spirit, it is now about teach the material by the Spirit to the INDIVIDUALS that we teach. We are now being taught how to focus our teachings on EVERY spiritual need that our investigators may have and learning what to teach and when to teach it and HOW to teach it all by Revelation and the impressions of the Spirit. We are to seek revelation through prayer WITH our investigators. If they aren`t learning to pray personally and develop their personal relationship with Heavenly Father, they wont progress like they need to. We are encouraged the break away from using the Bible to convince our investigators of the truth of our message. Instead we are to seek revelation and guidance and teaching aid through the Book of Mormon AS MUCH as possible. If we can, we are encouraged to teach the lessons almost completely using just the BoM! It`s awesome, I`m so stoked for that part. We are also taught now to become transparent missionaries, which means that we set our desires, expectations, thoughts, feelings, and impressions ALL in the open in front of our investigators. Before we teach we are now taught to give a small summary of what we want to teach and what the investigators could learn. We are to do everything we can to inspire TRUST and openness between us and our investigators. This whole program would take a long time to explain to you, but just know that I love it, I learned it, and I use it and it give AWESOME results. For example, last night...

Last night I had possibly one of the most beautiful experiences of my mission and possible my whole life! We went to teach a reference of our Ward Mission Leader. The reference was his sister-in-law who had recently almost lost her life when her appendix gave her problems. She wants to return to God, as she had begun to believe that He doesn`t exist. She has been Catholic her whole life, but married a member of the Church and has a small son with him. They are happily married and she loves her family. However, she had begun to lose her relationship with god and wanted to come back to him. We summarized the goals of our teachings and how she could achieve HER goals of coming to Christ by learning from us and the Spirit. She opened up almost immediately after SHE began with a prayer. She wept as she told us her experience with coming close to death and leaving everything she loves behind. Elder Crapo (I was on divisions with one of our district leaders at the time) and I immediately began to ask inspired questions, teach by the Spirit, and follow Rosaura's (the investigator`s) needs. It was a BEAUTIFUL experience. We taught the first half of the lesson called The Gospel of Jesus Christ and we taught Faith, Repentance, and Baptism. She payed attention and answered all of our questions openly. I then committed her to baptism on the 18th of this month. She accepted with a full heart and pure intent. The only obstacle is that her doctor has to approve her to be able to submerse herself in water. Her next doctor`s appointment is on the 17th (how perfect is that?). I will be fasting and praying for her doctor to approve the submersion so she can be baptized.
After the lesson was over and we had prayed to end it, all of the sudden the sky outside LIGHTED UP with a beautiful orange-red light and we all rush outside to see what it was. It had been raining a little during the lesson and the sun was setting over the mountains. The sunset side of the sky was clear and lit up with BEAUTIFUL light and color, and to the East, the rain clouds were going away and there in front of them was not one, but TWO, a DOUBLE rainbow! It was INCREDIBLE! haha I made a joke and said "It seems like SOMEBODY is definitely happy about your decision!" Everyone laughed and smiled and agreed. IT was AWESOME! haha

Alright, i`m out of time and my fingers hurt from typing so fast. I love you all and hope that you can continue to progress and love and live your lives the way that Heavenly Father would have us do. I love my Family and I and eternally grateful for them in my life. You all give me so much strength and I am excited to face each week because I know you all support and love me. Thank you...forever.

Love Always,
-Elder Preston William Tucker

P.S. Please pray for Rosaura (Rose-ow-rah). She will need help and support to get her through the waters of baptism and gain a full and lasting conversion to the True Gospel. With our Father`s help and our prayers that will be MORE than a possibility. =D I love you ALL!