Monday, November 30, 2015

Week 46: Dia de Gracias - Thanksgiving in Guatemala

Thanksgiving was good, didn’t really do the feast thing, but still it was fun. I now have a ton of food storage thanks to Walmart though. I have mac and cheese and spam (really rare to find here kinda food).

People in the ward are really opening up to us and we are being feed a lot lately, so I’m happy. My companion and I are a little scared that we might get changed here the 7th of December, which would be a bummer. I am super excited for Lexie to have her baby!!! Thoughts and prayers are with you Alexis!

I contacted a guy named "Elder Perez" a few days ago, that was weird. He didn’t want to listen to us so that was unfortunate but here’s a few cool stories though, so my companion and I were looking in the area book for old investigators with potential and we came across a man who'd gone to church like 5 times which is rare. So we passed by that night and a the man who greets us is the very same old investigator. He was super excited to see us and let us in right away. He explained how he had some legal problems which is what kept him from being baptized, but he always wanted to be. We'll see what we can do for him, he is very promising after all. 

Another contact we made was amazing, which is that we knocked on a door and gave the normal door approach, then they let us in and we taught them. Tranquillo (cool) right? We invited them to go to church with us that Sunday out of habit, and they said they would. That was super surprising for me because most people don't do that. Well they came, it was super cool. They even paid for a taxi to bring them.We had offered to have a member take them but they said no. That’s all for now.

Elder Perez
Lot's of Good Food
Mission life on Thanksgiving!
A Minion Piñata
Spoils from the Minion Piñata
Egg Nog!!
Egg Nog, fries, and a hamburger! Yum!!
There is a lot to be thankful for!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Week 45: Exceeding Mission Contacting Goal

My companion and I are very good friends, and he helps me out a lot by just goofing around. Things have been very slow as far as progress goes in our area, but we manage to stay busy. The mission has a goal of contacting 70 people each week whether in the street or by knocking doors. Elder H and I are up to 105 contacts a week, and it has actually helped us out a lot. We have contacted into a lot of members of our ward, less actives and actives. Of course we hardly recognize many, so it makes for a funny conversation and story later on. My companion is a pretty skilled magician and loves doing tricks for the kids on the street. He did his routine once and when all was said and done, there were about 15 persons who gathered around from ages 6 to 86. Elder H was jumping for joy afterwards, I couldn’t help but laugh. Afterwards the kids brought us to their house to teach their family.

It rained again a lot this week. I’ve grown accustomed to being wet during the day, so it’s not so bad anymore. We ran into a lady Wednesday who was very sweet and said we could come teach her. Later on we discovered that she thought we were Jehovah’s Witnesses. She still let us in though. Every time we invited her to do something, like pray or read, she would say ummm.. uh.. uh (it’s hard to write what sounds she made, but basically she’d say no in a really funny way.) So that’s my week, I sure do love you all. I’ve got all the presents for you all ready, just need to hurry up and mail them to you. Hope they get to you in time!! Loves

Elder Perez

Monday, November 16, 2015

Week 44: Success Working in The Rain

My companion and I have a great time together. We are often teasing each other and it is all in good fun. We have begun talking in thick English accent when we do speak English. It is so very funny and we are often cracking up at one another’s jokes. My companion often jokes with the locals that he is from Zacapa and that his father is an American. This leads to a very fun banter back and forth between him and a few of the locals. They start asking him fun trivia questions about Zacapa. He is actually pretty convincing even when he doesn’t know the answers.

It started raining like crazy over here and my companion made me leave my umbrella in the house. He said, we have to be drenched to the bone, or else they won’t let us in. That actually worked! We had a lot of success in making contacts that day. We even ran into a young family who had been taught over a year ago by other missionaries.

Our mission president has challenged us to invite one family to set a baptismal date for the 19th of December. We don’t have all that many investigators, but the ones we do have are very promising.

Well I love you all. I will be sending you all a Christmas package here soon! I still need to find a few things!

Much love!!
Elder Perez
We did a cool service project with the our ward (congregation). They painted the trees and side lines white. It rained hard that day so the paint washed off. Oh well, it’s the thought that counts right?
Boys will be boys (:
It was actually very cold and a few members of our ward stopped us to ask, 
"What in the world are you doing?!"
I just had to walk in the water mom. My companion did it so I had to too.
I’ve been very good about getting my personal food storage. I’ve gained a lot of weight lately. My companion likes to run and he about killed me the other day! I’ll work off these pounds off little by little. It’s just that the food is so cheap over here so it’s really easy to over eat!
We have a giant mall here in our area and they have a great big Christmas tree in it. I had a blizzard for the first time in forever. It was pricey for a poor missionary, but well worth it!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Week 43: We Have Been Sick All Week

That is so very crazy! I totally forgot about cousin Josh coming home off his mission this week. What must he be feeling right now? My word, give him a hug for me.

My new companion has been out on his mission like a year and 3 months while I have been out 10 months. Spokane, Washington is where he hails from. It’s probably not quite as close as I think it is.

We had been speaking English nonstop last week because we were bed ridden the entire week. My companion got super sick the first three days of the week and I was sick the last four days of the week. We were playing board games all week long and just talking.

I was super sick that day!
Elder H took a ton of photos of me and hit me with his light saber. I guess he got the last laugh because I teased him earlier in the week when he was sick.
Sunday, we finally felt well enough to actually go out and get to work. The first contact we made I sounded so white it was sad. We were kind of freaking out because of how fast Spanish goes. We want to devote more time to studying Spanish, more for my sake than anything. My companion has been helping me a lot with verbs and other language struggles I have. It seems that I gain a new outlook on my Spanish abilities with each new companion I have. As for this one, well I know for sure just how much I lack. He is good about correcting me all the time. He told me that he does it because as a kid he had troubles speaking and his speech therapist was always correcting him. He hated that, but it got him to fix his English. His Spanish is really good so he is a good example to me.

I sure do love you all, sorry I didn’t have any inspiring stories this week, but we really were in the house all week so there is not much to tell. I will let you know if we have any successes next week. We are basically starting over with the area once again but we’ve been having a good time working together.

Elder Perez
We see funny stuff in public restrooms.
It made me laugh.


Monday, November 2, 2015

Week 42: A Little Old Lady Had a Dream Missionaries Would Visit Her

You asked if the Latin holiday “Day of the Dead” is as big of a deal in Guatemala as Halloween is in the US. Yup! It’s a pretty big deal I guess. Everyone went to the grave yard to visit family graves and a good 40 members from our ward skipped church for the activity. It’s pretty interesting how entrenched in their traditions they are here. They had a Virgin Mary float parade through town, there was a band playing and a lot of fireworks. There were also some traditional sawdust carpets on the street, much like they do for the semana Santa (Holy Week), where they spread out the sawdust on the street and color or dye it to make a cool looking path for Mary’s parade to walk on.

Well the week didn’t start out great since I lost my planner the day my companion arrived. I guess it fell out of my pocket in one of the taxi cars we were in. So there went my plans, contacts numbers, and the mission credit card. I was freaking out. Luckily the emergency fund I have been saving up was in my suit case and so I’ve got hard cash for the month. I called the financial elders informing them; they will put half the month’s amount on my companion’s mission credit card and the other half on later in the month. Come to find out one of my last companions found my wallet and forgot to call or tell me about it. My wallet is on its way back to me. Unfortunately, even after it arrives, I will still have to wait for a new mission credit card.

My new companion is great! He is from Washington and his name is Elder H. He is a ball of fun. He has a little more than a year and has really been there with me every step of the way. We had good success the first three days of the week despite having lost my planner. I was thankful for that, but the next three days were really hard for me. I about had a panic attack. I introduced my companion to an old investigator of Elder C’s whom I knew was very religious. I had a feeling that I shouldn’t but we had had no success all day long getting in doors so we stopped by. I thought I would share a very small verse out of the Book of Mormon that compliments the bible. More than anything I wanted to get to know him and identify the beliefs we have in common. The moment we finished the opening prayer he went on attack mode and didn’t stop talking until almost an hour later. I was really mad at the end of it because he wouldn’t let us talk and he was very head strong with his opinions. Anyway, my companion ended up setting up another appointment with him for tomorrow, so we’ll see how that goes. If it goes south again I’m not sure what we can do for him.

We did have a little miracle occur later on that day. A family called the mission office to send us to bless a little old lady who lives in our area. We went to visit her and gave her a blessing. She opened her eyes after the blessing and thanked us. She is Catholic and she told us that she had had a dream that two young men with black slacks, white shirts, and ties would stop by to visit her. So there we were, cool huh? We then met the other part of her family that are members of our church and taught a little bit to the rest.

A few of the members really helped us out during the week. They either gave us investigator references or went with us to our lessons. There is a lot of love here. Saturday we had a ward car wash were strangers from the street came in for the free wash while us missionaries gave them a tour of the building. It was a fun little activity and we had some promising conversations that might lead to future lessons.

Our area is like two big neighborhoods. We’ve got a middle class area and a really rich area that the sister missionaries and us elders share. The rich area has a few members living in it but we are not allowed to go door to door making contacts there because of the neighborhood rules. If we get a reference from a member then we are good to go so we will see what happens. And yeah, that’s were I’m at now, just trying to work hard.

Thanks for all the love and support everyone!!
Elder Perez
My New Companion Elder H is from Spokane, Washington