I love you!
This week was change week and I´m sure that ALL of you, because of my short email last week, are anxious to hear about what happened, where I´m at, and who I´m with. Well...I´m still in Los Riscos and STILL with Elder Kahawaii...JUST KIDDING!!! That is exactly what I feared would happen. I wasn´t dreading it or anything like that, but to be honest, I was suffering spiritually for those two changes that I was with him. I tried so hard to change things. I served him without looking for thanks, I prayed often for strength and guidance and help, I studied the Scriptures to find answers, and I even fasted to help things workout. Apparently it wasn´t meant to work out because hardly anything changed between us and last week we both received changes. I want you ALL to know that I am EXTREMELY happy with the changes that I received. I will finally be free and able to develop EXACTLY what the Lord has planned for the rest of my mission in these coming changes. So here´s they are, my changes for at least this change cycle:
Companion: Elder Solis (yes, the Elder Solis that I spent 3 days with in Momostenango right after I switched to Xela mission)
Zona: Xela (I´m part of the Central Xela zone, so we have all our meetings and P-Days in the beautiful city of Quetzaltenango!)
Area: San Carlos Sija (pronounced "see-hah")
Responsibility: Normal, Good Old-Fashioned Missionary!!! =D
Okay, so I´m with Elder Solis and we´re already best friends! I spent three days with him when I changed to Xela mission while they were trying to figure out my changes and where I would stay. In those three days we became great friends! We served, worked, talked, and had fun! Now we´re permanent companions here in BEAUTIFUL San Carlos Sija! My it is wonderful. Everyone calls it the "mini-Momos" because it´s nestled into the mountains around the city of Xela. It´s mostly rolling hills and a couple tall mountains, but not anywhere near as rugged as Momostenango is. Walking pretty much anywhere will be easier than it was in Momos, being there really prepared me to be able to fully-enjoy my new area I think! =) The people are very nice and everyone is willing to say "hello" to you in the street. It´s a cleaner town than Momos is and the streets are clear and well paved (with paving stones like puzzle pieces). There is only one market day a week, so the streets stay pretty clean all day every day! I´t has been raining since I got here, but today it is beautiful and sunny so I can enjoy the green hills and the colorful buildings. The only member family that I have been able to meet so far is wonderful and kind! They are the Perez Family and their names are Efraín (Dad), Irma (Mom), Marcony (Oldest Son, 24), Ingrid (Oldest Daughter, 21), Claudia (Youngest Daughter, 20), and Kevin (Youngest Son, 9). They have lots of problems in their lives and need strongter testimonies and to participate in the repentance process so they can become strong enough to overcome their challenges, so we see they on a daily basis to teach and inspire them to change. So far, we´ve had a lot of very spiritual lessons with their family and they´ve begun a significant change in their lives. They treat us as Elders like their own family members and Hermano Efraín calls me "nenón" which is basically really caringly calling me his very large son (baby boy)! haha He also calls me "hombre blanco" which is just calling me "white man". haha They are wonderful and feed us good, home-cooked food. I´m very happy and filled with the spirit when I´m around them. I love them very deeply already. They are all either doctors or studying to be doctors, so we have very intelligent conversations too, and you ALL know that I love that! =D I need you to pray for them so that they can have the strength to learn the Atonement and prepare to repent and receiving their Patriarchal Blessings. =) That was a bit of inspiration we had in last night´s lesson with them after Conference. We found out that no one in the Perez Family has their patriarchal blessings, so we want to help them prepare to receive that road map for their lives. Thank you for your consideration for their sakes.
We´ve (Elder Solia) and I have had wonderful luck with finding investigators in the last few days too! Good, prepared investigators that don't have major challenges or roadblock in their way of being baptized. Namely, we have found Margarita, a wife of a less active member, with their two small children. She needs to receive an answer to her prayer of whether or not the Church is true. We´ve also found a young couple with a 11 month old baby. Their names are Edward (22) and Brenda (20). I contacted them in the bus going to Xela, and they were very interested in learning more. We will need your prayers and help so we can find their house and teach them more of the Gospel and the Restoration. They seem very positive candidates for baptism. That would be my first complete family! I want that sooo bad and I´m going to work to acheive it. We also met Sergio yesterday in the bus home. He is a long-haired, rugged looking man that lived in California for 24 years. He has a small son and maybe more family. They live close to the Perez Family. We want to teach him in his home and get him to the church. He would be wonderful Priesthood. =)
Okay, well, to answer Dad´s questions, I used my last two months trying my hardest to overcome a bad companionship through fasting, effort, and prayer. I learned MANY lessons that will serve me well in the mission and in life in general. I finally learned how to be happy in ANY situation, no matter HOW uncomfortable or dreary. My secret to achieving this is wonderful and I will share it with my family once I´m home. I know that Elder Kahawaii and I could have done MUCH more if we would have been able to BOTH be humble and willing to work to achieve unity, but that was not the case. However, I grew a TON with him and my companionship with him definitely has prepared me to approach challenges in a different, more Christ-like way. The only challenge that I can´t ever change is the consequences that come from the way other choose to use their free agency. The next four months will FLY by, but I will be working as hard as I can to achieve everything possible. I will serve my Mission President, my companion, and my Lord. Look forward to a lot of fun, spiritual stories to come and good news. I feel free, strong, full of love, and I´m ready to finish strong. My goal now is to fill myself so full of love that it will become impossible for people not to allow us to teach them and help them come unto Christ through the Holy Ghost. Charity...I want to be FULL of charity, that is my goal. Be irresistible through pure love. =D I will achieve it!
-Elder Preston William Tucker
P.S. I LOVED General Conference too. I took 5 pages of notes and learned MUCH. I also had a wonderful sensation for one of the first times in my life. The sensation was comfort and love from my Father when He lets me know, through a general authority´s message, that I am keeping the commandments and He is happy with my performance in a certain area of his Gospel Plan. However, I will never allow that feeling to inspire overly-proud feelings, I will always focus on what more I can learn and what I lack so I can become better constantly.
P.P.S. The other night, Elder Solis and I were talking in the house after a VERY spiritual lesson. He bore his testimony to me and then proceeded to tell me about everything he had come to know and learn about ME, who I am as a person. His testimony and words penetrated me to the core and helped me to know that I have become almost exactly what the Lord wants me to be as a Man and Son. I can´t describe everything Elder Solis told me, but just know that I AM who the Lord wants me to be and ALL of you will be inevitably impressed by the change the Spirit has effected in me as Preston William Tucker. I love you. I make these changes for YOU. I make these changes for Him. I am who I need to be to eventually return to my Father, WITH my family, to dwell in His Kingdom!