Elder Hughes & Elder Gondola, these two have grown up together and are now both serving missions in Guatemala. Shaun is in the South Mission & Tanner in the North Mission.
Buenas dias Familia!
Glad you guys had a good week! To start things off Happy Early Birthday Riley!!! Cant believe your going to be sixteen how crazy is that! Im thinking about sending a card and some money Haha! If you can find a way to use "Quetzales" in the states then your good! Your going to have to tell me how everything went this next week... ie first date? Niners are in the Super Bowl! Dang look what happens when I leave Giants and now the Niners If those teams are smart they will just pay me to stay down here in Guatemala HA! Wow Rachel is going to Hawaii that is so cool. Im sure Keri and Dave are already planning to go pick here up when she finishes. So exciting to hear about all these mission calls. Sheldons going to do awesome too!
Happy anniversary Mom and Dad! 21 years together whew! Congratulations you made it to 21. You guys are the best parents ever. Its so true. Im sure Dad has something good planned already Ha! He taught me everything I know about how to take a girl out haha! Stud!
So a little about my week. Lots of cool changes and experiences to share. On Tuesday we picked up our new companion... Elder O, he is from here in Guatemala. He is a temporary Elder here right now he is waiting on his visa to go to Peru. But I guess its super tough to get one right now so he isnt sure how long he will be here. This guy is awesome. So funny! Me and Elder G have been laughing so hard this week! Again we feel so blessed to have a great companion. At first it was pretty weird to be in a trio but we are getting used to it. The really nice thing about having a latino comanion is we speak spanish all day long non stop. So yeah I can pretty much say goodbye to english, kind of crazy! But my Spanish has improved so much just in the five or six days he has been with us. So feeling really blessed I could not have asked for a better way to start the mission.
We have been working the new guy hard. I remember how I felt those first couple days in the field...very tired. But he is doing great! Thursday we had a huge conference in the capital with Elder Christopherson and three different missions here in Guatemala. The south, central, and north missions! All the zones outside the capital couldn't come but it was cool to see freinds from the ccm and people in other missions there! One big reunion. The whole time I was looking for Elder Gondola "Shaun" He is serving in the south mission. At the end of the conference I finally found him! So cool to see him he is doing really well, looked super happy! I was able to snap a quick pic so I will send that over to you guys. Conference was amazing. You guys probably dont know this but Elder Christopherson can speak really good spanish! We heard talks from the area authorities and then from him for about an hour and a half. So powerful... Elder Christopherson talked alot about the atonement, repentance, and the sacred nature of our call. At the end he left us with a promise that in the next couple weeks we would all receive some sort of manifestation that god knows and loves us personally! The spirit was so strong throughout the whole thing. I love stuff like this because sometimes missionaries need that little boost of determination to keep working hard and doing the best we possibly can. One thing he said that I liked was the "load of the lord is always less than the weight of sin" Sorry that probably sounds weird all my notes are in spanish and dont always translate over super good haha!
We had a good week in our area. Lots of running around picking up Elder O, the conference and other things this week but did manage to get some baptism dates with some of our investigators. We are working with a couple younger kids J and J. We have activated both of there families and are working to get them baptized in Febuary. Also set a date with a girl named C. She is seventeen years old and already has a kid on the way. Unfortunately we see this alot here in Guatemala really really young mothers. She wants to make some changes in her life which is always the most important thing to look for because thats exactly what the Gospel and the Atonement of Jesus Christ is all about. F had his baptismal interveiw on Saturday and we are going to baptize him this coming Saturday! After the Interveiw we sat in their house while his wife L bore her testimony and he expressed his feelings. Both of them starting crying.... Tears of joy of course because of all the blessings and changes they have seen in F and their family in general. I love this family so much. To be able to see the power of the atonement and the lords church change these people is amazing! In our ward we have seven missionaries. The zone leaders, hermanas, and us! This next saturday we are going to have a huge baptism of nine people into this ward! Its going to be AMAZING! We are going to invite President Watts and Hermana Watts to come! I hope they can I love them so much.
Im doing great and I feel so much better this week! Being sick on the mission is not fun... But just part of the journey. I want to share a little message today about knowledge. I love studying the scriptures and other good uplifting books. Obtaining knowledge and constantly learning is so important! I think I am just now really fully appreciating my oppourtunity to learn at this time in my life. There are only a couple things that goes with us when we pass from this life to the next and that is our knowledge of the gospel. our testimonies, relationships with others and in general what we learn here on the earth. This is a major step in the Lords plan for us on this earth. To obtain a body and to learn and grow from our experiences. Learning is the best! And lastly keeping an eternal perspective in life is really helpful in our day to day life! Make everday count! I know that Christ lives and our Heavenly Father loves all of his children in a perfect and personal way. Have an awesome week!
Love you all so much!
and all this time we thought that Tanner was just short, NO! Elder G is just very tall!