Monday, June 27, 2016

Week 76: We Had A Baptism!!! Companion Finishes Mission

A lot happened here these last few days and to be honest I am still recovering from it all. Well, for starters we have been teaching a 7 yr old boy the missionary lessons. His family is less active but they have recently begun attending church again. His birthday was coming up and they wanted to celebrate it with his baptism. Well we were not informed of this until this week. That meant we had to stop by his home everyday to try to teach him a missionary discussion in a way that he would understand to help him prepare for baptism. 

Normally we wouldn't be assigned to teach a child the discussions but because of how long the family has been inactive he was treated like a new investigator. So needless to say that was very stressful. Then to make the week even more jammed packed my companion had one of his final interviews with President Crapo. He was given a list that all missionaries who are about to finish their mission receive. It asks the missionary several questions about their future goals, spiritual experiences, and characteristic they want to bring into a marriage, which every good return missionary should work towards. I had to help my companion with all that before his final interview. Saturday finally came around and some how we managed to pull the baptism together! This makes 20 baptisms for my companion here on his mission. Sunday afternoon my companion had his final interview with president.

During my companion's final interview he expressed the desire to start right up with his schooling ASAP. He told President that he would still be able to enroll in a summer semester of college if he went home a week early. Well, we still have two weeks of the change (transfer) left at this point, but President decided to give him permission to go home right away to prepare for college and to give him a little bit of time to spend with his family before the semester starts up. This was a bit of a shock, my companion packed up everything this morning and they put me with the zone leaders today! He should be leaving for home today or tomorrow, and of course he is going home with honors! I am so very happy for him but I'm still stunned at how little time I had to say goodbye. 

President says that my new companion will come tomorrow to fill in for Elder R as district leader and I will continue working in the area. Anyway that's about all I can say, the week's just been a blur for me.

I love you a ton everyone!!
Elder Perez
Elder Perez, 8 year old who was baptized, Elder R
Great kid, it was an honor to teach him.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Week 75: Baptized a Woman Who's Son is Serving a Mission

The week went by fast last week, despite my being sick. Whatever I caught last time stuck with me for a few more days. I didn't really get better until Thursday, and a few little aches and pains are still present. I am positive this all is due to eating some bad food. The problem is we eat with so many different members during the week I don't know where it is coming from. My companion thinks I'm crazy and that its all in my head due to the fact that he is healthy and has eaten everything I have. Oh to be gringo and have a weak stomach.

Lets see, we had several divisions (splits) throughout the week again. All due to the several baptisms our district has. By the end of the week my companion had conducted about 4 different baptismal interviews. That kept us running around from area to area almost daily. One of the interviews we had was pretty late in the afternoon. By the time we finished up and with the traffic heading back to our area we didn't get home till 9:30 pm and on top of that it was raining like crazy! Then mid week the zone leaders stopped by our area to give our investigator her baptismal interview, which went well.

Our baptism turned out wonderfully. I attached a picture of the woman we baptized and I am sure that her son who is currently serving a mission was very excited to hear the news of her baptism. 
She asked a return missionary from the ward to perform the baptism. The ward really came through and the Stake President even participated in the services. I was impressed with the love that was shown to this sister.  The ward mission leader provided the snacks which included chocolate cake, tostadas, and soda.

The temple trip today was great as always. We all took photos and had a great time together. As is tradition we stopped by a fast food joint as a zone and it just so happens that the new missionaries being trained at the MTC were all there too. At first I thought it was just a giant zone of missionaries because the temple is located in another mission. But then we got talking to them all and they all told us were they were headed in a few days. Something the MTC does before shipping out the new missionaries is a quick tour of the Central market and park. They shop a little and then they get a chance to contact the park. Well I remember doing the same so I asked them how the contacting went. A couple were happy to report written information and a number. I told them that it was actually in my area so I would be happy to contact them during the week. Almost jumping for joy they gave me the referral. It was fun to see the enthusiasm these new missionaries have.

Thats about it for now. Love you all!!
Elder Perez

Elder R, Sister who was Baptized, Elder Perez
Zone Temple Trip

Monday, June 13, 2016

Week 74: New Favorite Soup Doesn't Sit Well!

Before writing you all this morning my companion and I stopped by the central market to do some shopping. We ran into both Elder DLC and Elder H. They share the same zone and as today's activity All of there zone received permission to shop in our area. Elder H is a zone leader now and is having great success. It was great seeing both of them.

Last week I had a very condiment packed soup called Pepian soup. It was delicious and has become a quick new favorite of mine. Unfortunately, my stomach did not agree. Since I ate the soup I have suffered quite a lot. I called up the nurses and they told me what medication to take. That helped, though I think some of the after effects of the soup curse are still present. Needless to say I wasn't able to eat much during the week which set me back a little bit, mostly because of all the good food I missed out on throughout the week. First a dinner at a members house and then a pizza party with the zone after planning meeting. Anyhow, despite the discomfort of being ill we had some fun over the week.

A member of my old ward in Alameda contacted me on Thursday. He was in the area and wanted to catch up over lunch. My companion had also served in Alameda so we had a good reunion.

Aw mom, so sorry you had to get so sick with a stomach flu. I so empathize with you. Thanks for sharing one of your missionary memories dad. I love hearing about how you were as a missionary.

We went on divisions/splits with some Elders that live nearby. I went with Elder S. again which was great fun. We always have a blast when we are together. It was nice getting to know his area and investigators. We had a wonderful lesson with a women who wants to get baptized, but unfortunately her circumstances won't allow it. She has great faith despite her trials and I am sure that once all is resolved she will become a strong member of the church.

I most likely will have a baptism this Saturday so I will send you pictures of that next week if all goes well. I hope that both you and I heal up next week. I agree that it sure is no fun to be sick.

Love you all lots!
Elder Perez
The Presidential House
Beautiful Catholic Church

Monday, June 6, 2016

Week 73: Becoming More Assertive

Our investigators are doing good. A few of them aren't progressing so we will be dropping them soon. Others are struggling with problems, but we try and help them out as much as we can. 

Yeah, those mosquitos have been making a feast out of my feet, but I think I have figured out a good combat method. I keep my Sunday pants, socks and shoes on at night when I wash my laundry and they leave me alone. I haven't been bit these last 3 days! I am looking into buying repellent here soon too.

I have learned that I am far more of a "fire bolt" here in Guatemala speaking Spanish than I ever was as a child. I speak my mind and make it clear when I'm not going to do something which is a big change for me. All I need to do now is to tone it down a bit and wisely pick my battles. 

How fun mom, that must have been a blast! I am so jealous. I can't wait to play with those little angels once again when I get back home. Too bad the weather will be horrible come December so the water fights will have to wait until summer.

Thanks for the updates and for all your hard work with the funeral and wedding reception. That must have been a mix of emotions, a death followed by a wedding.

I have been making great progress with piano. Playing piano really calms me down and I feel happier when I can express myself through music. I play in my ward before FHE or other activities and I get a lot of compliments which is nice. 

I mended things with our ward missionary leader and now we are better friends than ever and he is a great help to us. I have also been on the hunt for souvenirs I can buy for all of you and bring home. Is there anything you would like from Guatemala Mom?

I sure do love you all. Keep up the good works and give dad a get-well kiss for me!
Elder Perez