Monday, April 17, 2017

week 85: "kawresinb'ilin anajwan"

So this week was pretty tough because it was Semana Santa. Here they celebrate Easter all week, which means no one is ever home, and everyone is busy, and there are a bunch of drunk people on the street. There were dances and stuff in the town center every night as well so they keep pretty busy. And they always go to the beach to go swimming here, which I think is a tradition. I didn't see anything for the kids. I tried to explain about our whole thing with the Easter bunny to some members and they were super surprised by it, I think they thought it was weird. I was surprised because the Church actually did nothing to celebrate, no special meetings or activities or anything, they didn't even have anything special on Sunday. No special decorations or anything. We went through La Tinta on our way to do exchanges and they do these awesome carpets out of colored sawdust, but here in Teleman there is not really anything like that. I'm sorry I don't have any pictures, my camera was out of battery this week and we lost power.  

I went on divisions with one of the new guys this week, Elder Alvirado. He is from Peru. He has about five days in the field, but he had two months in the CCM (MTC) for q'eqchi' so he came in knowing a decent amount. He seems like he is doing pretty well, so that is good. It was a short one day division. We went out to Canlun and ate some food with a member there and then visited some people.

My companion and I visited some menos activos (less active members) this week. The guy is Jose and his wife's name is Soña. We shared a good video about John Tanner with them, I think it went over pretty well. I don't know if you have seen it but you should look it up! It is only like 20 minutes, but I really like it. Byron wasn't home and didn't come to church, so that was a bummer. We couldn't visit Mario's family because they were busy all week, but I think we will get to go with them tomorrow! As far as I know they still have the goal to be sealed in the Temple in December. I miss going to the Temple. I will get to go on the 4th of July, then I think the 5th is my travel day. I think there are four of us returning to the States that day - me, Elder Barney from Idaho, Elder Lawrence from Arizona, and a sister from California.

This week we are going to try to get in contact with a guy named Rafeal who has been to church once, but has not shown up for the last two Sundays. We already know where he lives we just have to find a time when he is home. We haven't been able to teach him because he is never there. We tried to contact him this week and he wasn't home, so we will try again. We are a little worried he just came to church to impress the mayor, because he is a professor and is paid by government people, but we are trying to be positive. Other than that, we have those two district meetings we always go to, and we will be in Tukuru this week to hopefully finally get those interviews done.

Our water has been out for almost two weeks. Not the whole area, just our house, we haven't been able to figure it out. I know the house we are staying at has always been sketchy, when my old companion Elder Smart was there he didn't have water for a whole change (6 weeks.) We only sometimes have water in our pila outside, so that is a bummer. We are buying our water by the gallons so we can cook and stuff. To bathe we fill up a bucket with the water and then take the bucket to our shower inside the house and take bucket showers. The water is cold, but normally it is so hot here that it isn't too bad, just pretty refreshing haha. We lost the light too, but only for a day or two so that wasn't too bad. The power is back now.

Today we are in La Tinta. We came to teach a Q'eqchi' class to the Sister missionaries. They are doing good! It is just kind of hard because we have two of the same Sisters from last change, one who was in a different part of the Polochic, and one who is completely new to the Polochic, so their level of knowledge is all over the place. Oh, and I forgot - as of this change I am officially the only person in the entire Polochic who came in not knowing Spanish or Q'eqchi'! After the lesson we played some volleyball with the zone. We just play at the church here. Everyone from the zone is here but the missionaries from Santo Domingo, they had to go to Coban. 

Something I realized this week is how the Lord always gives us promised blessings, but only when we put forward our efforts. I started studying the Bible in Q'eqchi' this week. On the days I read, my Q'eqchi' felt on point, but if I missed a day I felt like I was struggling. So I can see that the Lord will bless me as long as I am willing to put forth the effort.

My spiritual thought this week comes from the church movie "Ephraim's Rescue." I always love the part when Brigham Young is asking people to go help bring in the handcart pioneers. Everyone says they can be ready in a few day, but then Ephraim says "I am ready now." In Q'eqchi', "kawresinb'ilin anajwan." That is pretty much how I always want to live my life. Always honor and be worthy of the Priesthood power I have been trusted with so I can be ready to serve at any moment. 

I love you!

Love, Elder Toolson

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