Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Week 3: Five General Authorities Spoke to us and the New Latino Elders that Arrived Have Raised the Bar!

Dear Family and Friends,

Wow! What a week it has been for me! So this last Monday all of us here at the CCM had the opportunity to go and hear from five members of the Quorum of the Seventies!
Elder Craig C. Christensen 
of The Presidency of the Seventies
One of them was Elder Craig C. Christensen but the other four Seventies names escape me. I was able to shake each of their hands and they really taught us some amazing things. On the way back from this meeting I began to notice the individuals in the streets of Guatemala City. The people were all a buzz and it was a little hectic. I thought to myself this... “Heavenly Father loves each of these people individually and he wants him, her and that little girl to know Him and be baptized one by one”. This was very thought provoking and really helped me love the people even more.

A ton of new missionaries arrived at the beginning of this week. Many are from Honduras and Guatemala. I made fast friends with several of them. These new Latino Elders are not as patient with our speaking Spanish as the last group, which actually has been quite the blessing to me. I have discovered through their higher expectations of us English Elders that I understand more of what they are saying then I thought. One Elder in particular, Elder Martinez from Honduras speaks very fast with a slight accent and expects a response. With a few days of practice I have been able to not only follow his conversations, but comment and answer questions with my limited vocabulary and a few hand gestures.

President Cox asked me to serve as District Leader for our English group for these next few weeks and it has been an eye opening experience for me. I am in charge of our districts assignments throughout the week as well as teaching and leading district class and discussions. This week I taught about the doctrine of Christ found in 2 Nephi 31 (Book of Mormon). We reviewed the chapter and compared it with the missionary purpose found in the missionary handbook,"Preach My Gospel." All in all it went really well. Teaching my peers reminded me of the time I was able to teach the gospel essentials class in the Alder Creek Young Single Adult ward (congregation). Good memories.

The food is so good here! A local named Carlos makes everything and it is very tasty. One day we had this great lunch which was some sort of traditional soup and I think mine actually had some sort of animal tooth or bone in it, but it was so good that I did not even care! Some of the funniest things happen to me during the meals we have here. I generally sit with the Latino Elders and we talk about everything from favorite sports to our cultural differences within the CCM (MTC - Missionary Training Center).

My new missionary friends found out that I could read music and began to request that I play hymns on the piano. I have been trying my best to play all of them and the Elders sing along. Funny enough, these Elders expect the very best from me and begin to get angry whenever I miss or mess up on a note. They are very demanding friends, yet fun and amiable all the same.

Occasionally, I have been asked to participate in their mock lessons (role play) where I play the role of the investigator. It is at such times that they begin to argue who gets to teach me the gospel. My favorite experience with these men has been the times right before bed where I get to talk with one or two of these individuals and really find out who they were before coming here, their interests, and their hopes. I know that having these conversations has been a blessing from God because there will be a day where I understand every word, and other days when I comprehend nothing. Heavenly Father truly does bless us and I hope and pray that I am worthy to receive the extraordinary "gift of tongues" in the pursuit of this great work.

I love you all and I hope you will have great success this next week with the help of the Lord.

Hasta luego,
Elder Perez

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