Good Morning Family!
I have to apologize from the beginning of this email because I suspect that it´s going to have to be short. I also apologize if I have a lot of misspelled words in here...the keyboard of this computer is old and doesn’t type as well as I´d like it to. It sounds like everyone is getting super excited about my Homecoming...and I am too. This week was wonderful and I had the chance to work every day in the field and have a great time with my companions. On Wednesday I received my final change. I was sent to a new area with a new companion. My area is called Las Flores and it´s in a Zone called Zaculeu. This area is right in the middle of the city of Huehuetenango, one place that I hadn´t gotten to see in my entire mission, but had many desires to get to know before I left Guatemala. It´s a big, beautiful city in the rolling hills of northern Guate. It´s considered a border city as it has a large highway that runs right through the middle of it, and is very close to the southern Mexican border. It´s very beautiful here and the culture is a little different than that of the rest of the Xela Mission. I feel almost like I´m back in the capital city again with all the busy streets and busy people. It brings back wonderful memories of the beginning of my mission. This area is home to a ward of about 130 members and yesterday we had Stake conference. It was refreshing to finally see a chapel, it´s overflows, the cultural hall, and several other rooms full of members there to receive the Word. There was probably well over 1000 members there, and there was a lot of talk about the possibility that the stake will be turning in application papers for a 3rd Stake here in the city of Huehue. (pronounced "way-way") It´s was very exciting and President Lorenzana was there and gave a wonderful talk about renewing and keeping our faith strong. My new companion for the next week and a half is Elder Zimmerman. He is t19 years old, from Draper, Utah, and has about 6 months in the mission. His Spanish is wonderful, he is a hard worker and very obedient. I love and enjoy my time with him. It´s really a shame that I couldn´t have been here, with him long before now...we would have done a LOT of good work together. As things are right now, we had no positive investigators, but we´ve been contacting a lot, serving, and working hard to find new people to teach. We have a couple promising contacts and keep our energy up as we continue to work. I´m really trying hard to keep my head up. working hard, and continue learning and teaching those around me. I truly have come to love and enjoy every aspect of the mission, even though it´s never been exactly the way that I imagined it would be.
I wanted to share my most spiritual experience of the week with you before I have to go. On Wednesday, we received our emergency changes (not just me, a LOT of elders were changed around in preparation for a big push to purify the mission and lift its level to where it needs to be.) On the bus ride from Xela to Huehue (about 3 hours long in bus) I sat in the front seat to enjoy the ride. To my surprise, the man that sat next to me was a member and we had a good time talking about all the different parts of Guate that I´ve come to know and love throughout these two years. However, the source of this spiritual experience was the young man sitting behind me on the bus. Before we left the terminal, he casually asked me to translate a text message that he had received from a friend, as it was written in English. I translated it for him and began to talk to him about normal things, just shooting the breeze. Eventually he asked who I was and why I was wearing a white shirt. I began the explanation of my missionary status and my two years here in Guate, a story that I´ve become very good at telling. haha Eventually I saw the opportunity and I began to teach this young man, David Carreto, about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He was extremely receptive and had all the right doubts and questions. Honestly, he was the golden investigators, the best of the best, and I just drank it all in. I was teaching him alone, but the member beside me was helping me to hold my Scriptures and hand me all my "tools of the trade" as I worked through the lesson´s principles. It was incredible. I loved it! Eventually we got the Joseph Smith´s story and he related perfectly with it. I taught him about the Book of Mormon and he ate it all up. I gave him a copy, with a pamphlet of the Restoration, and all my contact information. Then I started in on the commitments. I committed him to pray and ask if the Church is true...he accepted. I committed him to read the Book of Mormon and pray to know if it was true as well and is Joseph Smith is a prophet of God...he accepted with energy. And then I asked him, if he came to know though prayer and the Spirit of the Lord that these things were true, would he follow the example of Jesus Christ as be baptized by someone holding the Priesthood authority of God...he ACCEPTED! It was wonderful. Unfortunately, he lives in the coast in a place called Coatepeque. I´m going to pass the reference off to President Lorenzana and he has promised to call the Stake President of Coatepeque personally to make sure this man gets his chance to be baptized. I just share this story because it´s the perfect example of the success that the Lord promises his servants if they will obey him. Obviously I won’t be the one to baptize David, but honestly, I don´t care, because I know that someone WILL do the deed. I love finding the Chosen People of the Lord...it´s what the mission is all about.
Well, I’ve run out of time and I´ve got to run. Today I might get to go see another Mayan ruin here in Huehue, and if I do, I´ll take tons of pictures to share in a week and half. I´m very excited to turn 21, everyone knows I´ve been waiting my whole life for that day. I can´t wait to celebrate it with you all, my Family, once I´m home. I can´t wait to see all of your beautiful faces, hug you once again, and tell you that I love you. It´s coming soon. Until then I´m gunna work, and be obedient, and enjoy every minute until it´s over and I walk off the plane.
-Preston William Tucker