Monday, January 16, 2017

week 72

Hey, this was a pretty busy week with changes so we had a lot to do. The big news is, I am staying in Teleman! And Elder Lara (most recent companion) is the new Assistant to President! I was super happy for him, he is perfect for the job. He will be amazing! He seemed pretty excited too, so all in all it was good. My new companion is Elder Ibarra and I am so hyped about that because he is one of my guate´s (like a buddy or a homie.) It is his first change as Zone Leader so I am going to kind of be training him in a way, but he seems pretty well prepared so I don't think there is much to teach!

Something else exciting that happened this week is they sent Hermanas (Sister Missionaries) to the Polochic! That hasn't been done in who knows how many years! There will be 3 companionships, two in La Tinta and one in Senahu. They opened up a second area there. Neither area is in my zone, so I will only see them on the P-days when I go to La Tinta. Poor Elder Bos will have to manage the transition. I feel sort of sorry for the Elders in those areas, because people here love the sisters. When I was in Senahu alll they did was talk about how much they love sisters. Which is great, but kind of hard too. I know because that is kind of how it was this last change because everyone loves Elder Lara so much. But it worked out for me because he didn't really know qeq' chi, so I got along with the people that talk qeq´chi really well.

Today was a sad day because I said goodbye to my buddies Elder Gonzalez and Elder Reed, their two years are up and they are going home. The weird thing was when Reed hugged me he said "I'll see you soon man!" But don't worry, I know I'm never going home! We are in Coban for changes. My new companion is here, we met up last night. It is just a one day trip, we got up at 2:30 this morning and we will be heading back in a couple of hours. We will probably just write, eat and then leave. I am dying haha. I hopefully will be able to sleep on the way back.

We did some divisions with Saqsuha this week with Elder Pin and Elder Vega so I have some mountain fotos for you. That was pretty fun. 

Maria is a recent convert, along with her family. We made pancakes with them one day this week.

Also there was a little girl from Canlun that asked me to baptize her, so that was really special. I met her my second week or so in Teleman. We went looking in Canlun to see if anyone needed to be baptized, and we found out about Aida. She is from a member family and has 8 years with her, but her dad would only let her be taught and baptized by missionaries. So we taught her. The dad does have the Priesthood, he just doesn't really understand what a blessing it is too use it. This is kind of common in some areas here, I think in Canlun it is worse. The people here are just so used to the missionaries doing a lot that they don't think they can do things themselves. It is something we are trying to change with them. 

We finished the baptism kind of late so there were no more trucks or buses to go back in, we had to go by boat. It is like minute and a half in the boat or less, there are two guys that just push it across with a big stick. It costs 2 qetz each person. I'm not really sure how many people it holds, we just sit on the side and I have never seen it fill up. From the boat it is maybe an hour, or hour and a half, walk home.

I have a few more pictures for you. This is the family of Michelle and Blanca Iris

This is Flory and part of her family, she is a little lady who recently joined the church that we try to visit once a week

And this is Mario's family

He is doing Awesome! He is going to church and has the Priesthood now, and we are starting to teach them about the temple so they can get prepared for that. The people here go to the temple maybe once or twice a year if they don't have money, if they have money they can go whenever they want. They are awesome!

Ok, I will try to answer your questions now Mom.

1. I think my favorite thing about Teleman are the member families here, they are all super nice.
2. My least favorite thing is that it isn't the mountains haha, and it isn't 100% qeq´chi.
3. The weirdest and scariest thing that has happened here was probably what happened with my buddy who died in Canlun, I have never had anything like that happen before.
4. The happiest thing was probably seeing Mario baptized, that was a big testimony builder to see how the church changed his life.
6. The people we have taught the most in this area are probably Mario, Michelle, and Blanca Iris. Those are the three baptisms that we have had in my time here.
7. Those are the two families that we have spent the most time with as well (see pictures)
8. Since Teleman is in the valley, it is kind of commercialized, so all of the food is pretty standard here. Sorry, that is probably a disappointing answer.
9. The biggest challenge for me here is probably staying excited to work. When I know I am going to go out and speak 100% qeq´chi and be in mountains I am so much more excited, but in Teleman there are days it is hard to get myself going.
10. When it is time to leave, I will definitely miss those two families we have baptized most, I have gotten very close to them.

Dad asked about the weather - it actually has been raining a lot lately, I think I lucked out in the time of the year I am here. I'm fine at night, I can still sleep with just a sheet and not have a problem. I do pretty well with sleep, I think getting up at 4:30 helps me sleep a little better. My new companion says he wants to do the work out schedule with me so we will see how it goes! I know he has already started working out so it might just be the getting up early part. I want to come home in decent shape. People still tell me sometimes "mas nim aatib´el" which means I am fat haha.

My spiritual thought this week is about the Book of Mormon. This week I was able to finish it completely in qeq´chi which was awesome. As I was reading the last chapter I was kind of praying in my heart and when I read the last few verses I just felt this peace come over me. Lix Hu laj Mormon a´an li raatin li yos! Nanaw a´an rik´in chi anchal inch´ool! Nekexinra! (The Book of Mormon is the word of God and I know that with all of my heart. I love you all!)

Love, Elder Toolok

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