Monday, February 29, 2016

week 26

Hey! I'm glad that you had a good week this week! Ours was pretty successful! We weren't able to get ahold of Maria all week so that was a bummer, plus her and her sister didn't come to church, so we will have to see what is up. We taught Hector once and then he wasn't home when we went the next time. We are pretty sure he is married, so that at least eliminates the marriage problem we seem to have a lot. The woman we met two weeks ago is Lydia and this last week she said she wants to be baptized so that will be good! Jose Domingo's daughters left on Monday, so we won't be seeing them anymore. Nestor had a big complication with his marriage process that is really hard to explain in email, so he is kind of mad at the world right now. Mom asked what my schedule is like, so I'll try my best to describe it:

5ish - wake up 
7:00-8:00-eat and shower and stuff 
11:00-12:00- eat
12:00-night time-the work of the Lord!
Night time to morning- sleep
And then all over again!
(Editor's note: I thought hard about whether or not to include the next part of this letter, but companionship conflicts are a very real part of most missions. I am proud of how Joe is handling his situation, and hope that all of you who read this will join us in praying for both him and Elder Quiroz.) So it is getting pretty rough with my companion. He just tells all our investigators that I am dumb, and tells me I am dumb when I am studying and he is still in bed. Sometimes he throws rocks and garbage at me when we walk, and he won't listen to me if I have an idea because he thinks he knows better. He is actually a really really smart guy, he is just also one of the most prideful guys I have ever met. He thinks he knows better than anyone, including President Curtis. These last few months haven't been fun. I have had three changes with him. Nobody in his entire mission has been with him as long as I have. I have lost my temper a couple of times, but he just cusses at me in Spanish and says he doesn't care and ignores me. But I am trying to see him through Heavenly Father's eyes. This mission isn't the easiest and he has been here for two years, so I don't blame him for being impatient. He is nice to the people, and he teaches well. He is just malaonda (being a poop to people) with me. But it will be over soon. Only four more weeks, 27 days, but whose counting, right? haha. I actually have divisions all week this week with Elder Vargas, he's brand new, and then my Zone Leader Elder Smart, so that will be awesome. For a couple of days I will go to Elder Vargas' area and then Elder Smart will come to my area.
Here is my mission scripture translated into Kekchi for Mom (every missionary chooses a scripture before they leave, and it is engraved on a plaque that hangs with their picture in their home church building. Joe chose Ether 12:27 from the Book of Mormon.)
¨Ut wi te´chalq li winq wik´in tink´ut chiruheb´ lix q´unaleb´ xmetz´ew. Nink´e xq´unaleb´ xmetz´ew li winq re taaruuq te´wanq chi tuulaneb´xch´ool; ut tz´aqal li wusilal choq´re chixjunileb´ li winq li nexe´xtuulanob´resi rib´ chiwu; xb´aan naq wi neke´xtuulanob´resi rib´ chiwu, ut neke´paab´ank we, chirix a´an tink´e li k´a´ru q´un xmetz´ew choq´ kawilal chiruheb´.¨ ("And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.")

Wow its hard to type in kekchi haha. The pronunciation is way different, one thing that is hard to get used to is the x is a "sh" sound and the y sounds like a t-y together, so it is weird. The Kekchi is coming along a bit, but it will be better when I have a different companion. Here are some pictures from this week:
These kids are part of a less active family that we always visit.

Everyone carries stuff on their head hear like you see in pictures of Africa. In the bowl is dough to make tortillas, because that is what they live off of here.

This little guy is the son of our fecha.
This is my homie, he lives in front of our house and he always buys food for me and I let him keep the change.
This is my buddy at church, he's awesome and like a million years old so I had to take a picture with him.
And an eight-legged friend. (Aak! Joe! Why?!?)
This week for p-day we are just getting lunch, I had a hamburger that was well done, writing and getting our groceries for the week. But we are going to a birthday party tonight and we get to eat caldo (spicy soup with some part of a chicken in it) so it is a good day! I didn't like caldo when I first got here, but now I do. I want to learn to make it so I can make it for you guys when I get home! I haven't found a blanket yet, so we will see what I can do about that, maybe it will start heating up! And about the fat ties - yeah, that's the style for all the Elders in the Polochik haha. I still wear my skinny ones at church and I will when I get home. What's cool about the fat ones is that when you sweat into them they stand up on their own!
My spiritual thought this week comes from our District meeting. Our District is just Elders Helton, Gonsalez, Estrada, Vargas, me and my companion. We were talking about getting to know Christ better, and it just hit me how personal Christ can be for us and how well we can know Him, because He suffered everything we suffer and He knows us perfectly.
I love all of you!

Love, LaJ Toolok


  1. Love...when you sweat into them they stand up on their own! Love this kid more than words can say.

  2. Dear Joe,
    Once again I am inspired by how you work through so many challenges.
    As for Elder Quiroz, I would guess your "supervisors" are aware of his 'shortcomings'. I don't know how you are teamed up with others, but as I read this, I felt there is a reason that the two of you have been partnered, and that you have been in this partnership with Elder Quiroz longer than anyone else. I believe that he is teaching you how to live in unfair, mean and even cruel actions from others. I believe, even more so, you are a blessing to Elder Quiroz. He may be very intelligent, but it would appear to me, that, perhaps, he has great uncertainties, low self esteem. His pride, his arrogance may actually be masking insecurities. By putting you down and disrespecting you in the presence of others, speaks volumes as to fears he may have. Of course I do not know him and have only read your weekly updates, but it seems likely. I also find it very interesting that that the two of you have been together longer than his other partners. Perhaps, Elder Quiroz is learning kindness, Godliness, peace and calm in how you respond to him.
    Your approach to attempt to see Elder Quiroz through the eyes of God, is exactly the best. Pray for Elder Quiroz. Pray long and pray hard. I am certain that he will realize your gift to him at some time in his future.
    Joe, inkeepnyiu in daily prayer, always. I will also keep Elder Quiroz in prayer as well.
    God bless you.