Hey! It was a pretty good week this week. We found a lot of new people, it is just that everyone has one thing or another stopping them from progressing. Nobody has gotten married because they don't have money. It costs about 300 quetz, about 40 dollars. That doesn't sound like a lot, but people here make like 25 quetz a day if they work really hard all day, so it is hard for them to get the money. It can also be hard if just one person wants to be married (normally the one who wants to be baptized.) I don't know if we are actually allowed to help with marriages, but we do because it is kind of our job.
Another problem is that they don't know how to read so it is hard for us to leave material for them to study. We do our best to explain that the Book of Mormon is a history of God's interaction with people, just like the Bible. We try to share the history with them. We just kind of teach using a picture book we have. As far as I know, there is not a literacy program here to help people learn to read, and we don't have much success getting members to read with the investigators. They tell us there are over 250 members in the area, but only 50 or so come to church from what I've seen. So we have a lot of inactive people.
But it is great to be working hard and finding new people! We have about three or four lessons a day, so probably fifteen - twenty per week. It is difficult in this area because it is really spread out. I am including a picture of some of our new investigators. The little guy is named Rudy, like my first baptism.
As for the house, we have hot water sometimes but it seems to only work for my companion, there must be some sort of secret haha. Sorry, I forgot pictures this week, I will get them for you later. Things are good with my companion. He likes to talk - a lot. When I am trying to sleep. Or walking up a huge mountain. But there are worse habits. At least I can understand most of what he is saying. My language has improved a whole lot with a Latin companion, especially Spanish. Kekchi is much slower.
Dad asked about scary bugs or animals... we get a lot of spiders and cockroaches in our stuff. Only the really big bugs give me trouble anymore. The worst is when they crawl out of the drain, haha, that is never fun. Also, apparently there are tigers, so we get nervous when we walk and it is late at night. But I haven't seen any yet, so I don't know.
We have Multi-zone Conference tomorrow at Senahu so I am in Teleman right now. Teleman is kind of like La Tinta where I used to spend p-days, only more crowded, which I don't really like. We will be sleeping at the Zone Leaders house. I will be singing with seven other Elders at the Conference tomorrow, so we will see how that goes. Today we are spending p-day practicing and trying to figure out how everyone is getting to Senahu. Senahu is pretty big for this area. I've been there before a couple of months ago when I went on divisions with my old Zone Leader, Elder Kortsin. I am looking forward to seeing the missionaries from my old district and one of the gringos that came in with me. That will be fun! Normally at conferences we listen to President and Hermana Curttiss talk, and the Assistants to the President, and two missionaries who are randomly called. But since it is Christmas, we might get to watch a movie! We live pretty far away from everyone, so we can't really get together with our Zone on Christmas. We will just be in our area, probably visiting whatever members invite us over.
My spiritual thought this week just comes from my personal studies. One of the mornings this week I prayed and asked why no one is progressing, and kind of said how frustrated I was feeling. Immediately three scriptures popped into my head. The first is John 14:15, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." Then Mark 12:30-31, "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these." Finally Moroni 7:47, "But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him." And I just realized that it really is all about love. Loving the people, loving the work, loving your companion, and most important loving the Lord.
Well, I love all of you! Have a good week!
Love, Elder Toolson