Monday, January 25, 2016

Week 54: Transferred to Zone 1 Central, Centro Historico, Guatemala City, Guatemala!

I am so sad to hear about Colin Couch’s death. He was a very good friend of mine while I was attending the singles ward. He was often going in for checkups and surgeries in those days as well. I hope his family is doing well. I think that his little sister was planning on serving a mission. I don’t know if she ended up going or not but my prayers will be with them.

I am now serving in Zona 1 Central, Centro Histórico, Guatemala City which is like the most wanted area to be in for all us missionaries. Tourist wise it is a must see because everything about the government is nearby and a giant market which has just about everything in it is actually in my area! My area also includes the mission office where my mission president lives (or maybe where he works). I feel so blessed to be in such a culturally rich area, the buildings have their original foundation and exterior walls from about 150 years ago. There are a lot of things to do here and I am always looking up at the buildings and the art work.

I am serving with Elder DLC, the Guatemalteco. I served with him in a trio for 15 days about 3 months ago. Anyways he is pretty fun and talks to me more than any of my other Latino companions. I'm kind of in shock right now because my Spanish is digressed (because I spoke too much English with my last companion). Understandably, Elder DLC is not to thrilled to re-teach me Spanish, but he does answer my questions. He is super funny. He even teaches me some local songs so I can practice my pronunciation. He is from a county outside of the city and is pure Guatemalan. Elder DLC and his companion had 3 baptisms just before I arrived so now we are on the search for new investigators. 
Elder Perez's Companion Elder DLC
This week we walked the boundaries of our area. My area is pretty small, but like I said, it's got a ton of things to do! I've seen more gringos (white) tourists here than anywhere else I've served. Making contacts on the street is hard because so many people come to visit that no one we talk to actually lives in our area. Several Guatemaltecos talk with me in English. I would like to think of myself as a chameleon who just blends in with the natives, but then some guy goes and blows my cover by shouting, "Hey, white boy!" I guess I'm not tan enough yet! 

I’m glad to hear that your progress is going well with reading the Book of Mormon dad. What a spiritually rich experience. I’ve been downloading some more general conference talks now and then to listen to throughout the week. 

Last time I talked with my last companion Elder H, it sounded like he was feeling better. I have a little bit of what he had so I asked him what remedies worked for him. 

Thursday the lights went out where we live. On Friday we had an electrician check out the problem. It took them like 5 hrs, but they finally fixed everything up. We helped out a little here and there but most of the time was spent waiting for material. 

I'm sad to hear of so many deaths. AJ Schlatter’s death  must have been hard on Evan. Please send him my best. 

Tres besos y un abraso de osos! 
(translation: Three kisses and one bear hug!)
Elder Perez
We Played Soccer with The Zone
I Made Two Goals!
By some weird stroke of luck I actually made two goals during the games. I don't know how I did it, but everyone was happy to see a gringo playing Latin football. 
Later we went to the Museo del Ferrocarril
The Train Museum
It made me think of how dad said he 
wanted to be a train engineer as a kid.
Old Steam Engine

Elder DLC taking a Selfie










Monday, January 18, 2016

Week 53: I Will Miss Bosques De San Nicolas

They are switching things up over here for me. I've got changes/transfers. They could transfer me to the district next door or I could even be transferred outside the capital again. I’m a little nervous for what’s next for me because Elder H. and I were having so much fun together!  I'm also little sad to leave this area since I've grown used to it (I love the people), but all good things come to an end right? 

My mission president gave me some excellent counsel. He said, “ Whether you are starting this change with a new companion or are staying with your current companion, I hope you will follow the counsel of President James E. Faust found in his talk, What I Want My Son to Know before He Leaves on His Mission, Enign Magazine, April, 1996.” "Be the kind of companion you would like to be with. Be unselfish in your relationship with your companions. When there is contention, the Spirit of the Lord will depart, regardless of who is at fault.” Cool huh? 

Hope you liked the photos. I got a hold of all of Elder H's photos of us together. I sent you a few favorites.

As always, if I can help in anyway do let me know and I will do my best to help. Proud of you all and all your hard work, worthy goals, and your great examples.

Loves and 3 kisses,
Elder Perez
Blizzard
Set A Goal
Ask For Team Support
Stay Committed
Mission Accomplished! Blizzard Devoured!!
The Great and Spacious Naranjo Mall
EL NARANJO MALL 
Zona 4 de Mixco,
Área Metropolitana de Guatemala
One of Our Many Mishaps Cooking
We were draining the boiling water out in the sink 

using the lid of the pot and burned our hands which cause us to drop the newly cooked spaghetti into the dirty sink.
Painting Project
Working Up a Sweat!
I Found a Skull
OK, he has been away from girls way too long.
Elder H in His Tribal Stance
Investigators
We Loved this Couple. 
They were so good to us
Making Tortillas Elder C's Way
Who would have ever thought Elder Perez
would make home made tortillas.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Week 52: We Ended up Doing Great Things Despite My Companion Feeling Ill

We kept up with our missionary goals this week. It has been a little difficult and proved to be a challenge at times to meet them, what with my companion Elder H. being sick. I really feel for him because he gets very little sleep due to his skin condition, but the spiritual experiences we have shared together never have been stronger. My companions faith really impressed me and we ended up doing great things with those who were in town. 

We found a lot of new people at home in areas we had proselyted before with little success. It turned out to be a great time to meet these new families because everyone was home. We were able to schedule, with the majority of these families, weekends or specific days that would work for them for us to stop by and teach them. Now we have to plan out weekends and specific days to stop by when the whole family will be home so we can teach them.

I went on a division/split with a new Elder in my district last Friday and we had a great time. I went to his area where we actually found a lot of success. At first we ran into some guy from an American church service organization who tried talking us out of teaching or preaching the gospel here in Central America. He said other countries needed to hear about God but his country knew enough about God.

After that things really started going up hill, literally! We walked up to a football field and started teaching people at a nearby park. Later we contacted like 9 young men all ranging from 16 to 23 yrs old. Elder C. was very brave to want to talk with them, even though they laughed at our accents. We taught them lesson 2, about the plan of salvation. There were about four young men that seemed really interested.

At the end of the day we met an interesting Evangelical man. He wouldn't let us in his house at first but after 5 mins of talking at the door he invited us in and was very nice. He praised us for what we were doing and after an hour of teaching him he was alive with excitement about our message. The way he saw it we both believe many of the same things. He was thrilled to know that we are true Christians.

Over the weekend we were walking around our area looking for someone to teach, since our scheduled appointments fell through when were approached by a man who invited us to eat at a nearby restaurant. We were skeptical to accept the invitation. Even though he was persistent, we declined the invitation. He mentioned how his sister was Mormon and how he really didn't do things like invite Elders out to eat, but he had felt as if he should this time. In an effort to make conversation my companion asked what his sister's name was. Come to find out Elder H. knew this woman and had lived next door to her family in one of his previous areas. After that we went with him to eat and had a good discussion.

I guess the mission is going to have a world wide video conference this January 20th, (which just happens to be the same day as the birthday of Jared Petersen... give or take a day) anyway, will be sure to tell you all about that. I'm so glad that you all were able to listen to those voice recordings I sent you all for Christmas.

I am sorry to hear about dad's uncle Leo passing away. Please send my love and condolences to the family.

Loves,
Elder Perez

Leo Legault
December 23, 1943 to January 9, 2016
The New Missionary
Elder C
Enjoying Guatemalan Soup
Giant Drop Off In Their Back Yard

Discovered a huge drop off and 
like curious boys we explored it.
Yikes!!! See Elder Perez's Shadow
He is way too close to the edge. He knows that
this freaks his mother out!
Loved This Hike!!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Week 51: Bringing In The New Year with Lots of Appointments!

I'm still serving in Guatemala City, the municipality of Mixco, our area is the neighborhood of Bosques de San Nicolás, and we attend the Nueva Florida Ward. Elder H. is still my companion, but we have transfers in 2 weeks and we are positive that one of us is leaving. They never leave 2 gringos (whities) together for long. My ward apparently has 600 members, but only like 270 attend, and they are all super super rich!

You asked if I have done any service for my companion. I've made my companion egg sandwiches for breakfast. He loves them and I have learned to follow the spirit even when its 20 minutes to 9 AM and even when I'm super tired!

Boy, do I miss snow. Though it has been a little chill over here lately, but with the sun beating down I really can't complain. What are the Elders like back in our home ward? I got a glimpse of one of them over Skype Christmas day. I really can't imagine serving in the states. 

You're so service minded dad, proud of you for salting the church side walks. Oh and believe me, I have gained weight. The food is just so cheap over here, dirt...but cheap and cookies and junk food is even cheaper. I think this next transfer I will finally start exercising better. 

I guess our mission is going to have a world wide video conference this January 20th, (which just happens to be the same day as the Jared Petersen's birthday... give or take a day). I will be sure to tell you all about that. 

I am so glad that you all were able to listen to those voice recordings I sent you for Christmas. I imagine work and school has started back up for you all by now huh?

Send my best wishes to brother Sowers and let him know that I'm on the hunt for some famous banana honey from here in Guatemala. Give grandma Daily my love as well, hope to visit her and the family in Texas soon after coming home next year.

Loves,
Elder Perez
Bishop of Bosques Ward
And His Family
Member family we visited on New Year's day.

And Had A Gift Exchange

Typical Guatemalan Shirt
Given to me by this family.
Happy New Year!