Monday, June 27, 2016

week 43

Well, first off being a zone leader is pretty stressful haha. I got there Tuesday and unpacked, then went out to get to know some members. Wednesday I had to go to Chijolom (super awesome area!) to do a baptism interview so I was there in those mountains all day.

The next day I went to Seritkiche to do a interview, so that was another all day thing.

I made it back to my area early Friday and we worked all day. Looks like I showed up here at the right time because we had four baptisms yesterday!

Oh I also forgot to mention that we work in two ramas (small congregations, called branches in the US.) That is a big change to actually have enough people for two! I am pretty sure there are over 100 in each, I'm actually surprised they aren't a ward (larger congregation.) I know they are trying pretty hard to be a stake (a stake is a group of wards) right now, that is kind of the district Senahu goal. The ramas share a building so they overlap, so we only go to five hours of church instead of six. The first rama is pretty much all Kekchi speaking, and the second is mostly Spanish but still some Kekchi. One of the Branch Presidents is from Honduras and served a mission here so he seems to have a really good grasp on how things go. The other doesn't know Spanish that well so that is a struggle but he seems like he will be fine. They think I can play piano in the first rama so that is my Sunday calling now. There are gringos here from St. George that apparently visit every couple months and they went to church so I helped translate some stuff for them. They are going to give us some American food this week, they told us to stop by with them one night, so I am pretty excited! They come here all the time to do service, helping install pilas or pretty much anything they are asked to do. Their son-in-law served a mission here like four years ago. So they met him when he was a missionary. This time they brought two other adults and some more youth to do service. It was weird talking to some kids my age in English.
After church on Sunday we went down to sleep in Tukuru, and now we are in Coban because my companion had to take care of something in the office! I didn't take any parasite tests because I am tired of bad news so I figure I will just endure this one. As for my toes, they are hanging in there, I might get surgery when I go home but who knows.

Anyway, I still don't know my area that well because I was only there for like two days but I love it so far! I really loved Sepemac because that is where I learned the most Kekchi and I was there a long time. Santo Domingo was a nice place to start. The place with the best views is definitely up in Chijolom or Semaraq. This area is awesome because it has a lot more Spanish than some of my other areas. It is actually one of the main city (or towns?) in the Polochic. But it also still has plenty of Kekchi, so I am content. It's all good! My companion is a fun guy and good worker (obviously since I showed up to four baptisms haha) He is from the capital and has been out about sixteen or seventeen months? He was companions with my old comp Elder Vargas for like three or four changes and he is similar to him, and I really enjoyed my time with Elder Vargas. We do LOTS of divisions so it seems like I won't be with him very much but its ok, I like to get to know the other missionaries as well. And I will be able to go back to Santo Domingo and visit my first area in my mission, it will be fun because I can actually speak Kekchi now so that will surprise everyone haha. The schedule is about the same, it is just we can't follow it very much because of a lot of divisions and stuff. I am just kind of learning on the way, there isn't a special zone leader training. So I have no clue what I am doing haha. We get 1000 extra qetz for travel and we can reimburse it, so that is nice. We live right next to the church in Senahu. I will send a picture of the church and our house next week. We cook for ourselves here, but we pay a lady to do our laundry.

It is pretty stressful that this is the week where we change Presidents, that will be interesting. I'm excited but nervous, I don't know how much will change and how much will stay the same. We won't get to meet the new President today because he will probably be in meeting all day until we leave. Also for the upcoming week I have another interview in Chijolom. We do them solo, it is kind of intimidating. My companion told me the best way to learn it was do it, so he handed me the questions and I went for it. There are also a couple families that we have to go contact, other than that nothing too out of the ordinary.
Just so you know, my internet time will probably vary. Some days will be like before and other times I will have almost no time. My companion told me that he has had days where he wasn't able to write at all. So if that ever happens don't worry, I am not dead haha.

My spiritual thought this week is about pride, just basically I think pride is the worst. They say that pride is the universal sin because all sin begins with pride. When someone thinks they know better and they don't need to obey this rule or that commandment, they stop being obedient. Now the cure to pride is humility, which Jesus was perfect example of, giving all the glory to the Father.

Well, I love all of you!

Love, Elder Toolson

1 comment:

  1. Dear Joe,
    Reading your update this morning, as in the past, always brings a smile to my face and a warmth to my heart.
    I've thought about you a lot since your last update. I understand why you have been selected for this new position. You have grown so so very much and are completely aware of how God is within you. Yes, there may be struggles... This is life... But you persevere through the challenges with such grace... God's Grace.
    You mentioned the young man who doesn't speak much of the language yet. I think back to the start of your journey, and how described learning Spanish and Kekchi (sp?). Yes, Joe... You have come so far in a very short period of time.
    As always you continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.
    Fondly, Diane
    PS when my oldest, Brian, was in Afghanistan, we seldom heard from him...
    I learned to actually find solace in this. NO news IS GOOD news. I have learned to apply this to life in general. So for your parents, family and friends... This thought ... And prayer ... Will get them through the silent times.