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Monday, December 26, 2011

I need to buy a maca‏

or in other words, a hammock, why? Because I got sent to the coast!!!!!!!!!

I HAD CHANGES THIS WEEK!!!!! So crazy. There are 3 different places I could have gone: the capital where I was, the mountains, or the beloved coast.  I got sent to the coast!!! How crazy is that! My area is Escuintla. It's right on the coast and my area, Puerta De Hierro, is literally on the beach. We can see the beach from the roof. And its so cool! Fun fact: all the beaches in Guatemala have black sand. Weird huh? Anyway so my area is great. It's a different chage of pace though. The people in the capital are always working and have stuff to do, but the people here have nothing to do but just lounge around all day! Every house has a hammock or two on the front porch and they just go outside and drink piña juice and just chill. So it's very different, but, I'm getting used to it. We only have a branch here! Its not a ward....yet. We´re working on it. We have a couple baptisms lined up this month and next so I´ll keep you all updated.
 
So, a little more about my area. There is the coast, and then there is THE COAST: Escuintla is all on the coast. Every area, except 2, are about 35 minutes landward. It's like Penasquitos copmpared to Coronado. My area and the area next to ours, Puerto San Jose, is right on the beach. Because of this, it is the HOTTEST area in all the mission, like seriously, it is SO HOT! I sweat just from sitting down, it's crazy, but I love it. It's so cool. Puerto San Jose is the busiest port in all of Guatemala and a lot of cruise ships dock there, so look at pictures online and maybe you can get a taste of my new area.
 
As for my new companion, his name is Elder Porter, sounds like a gringo name huh? oh wait, HE IS GRINGO! I have a gringo companion! He is from Mesa Arizona. It's cool. We talk English, well I TRY to talk English. It's hard hahaha. We get along really well and we are working hard in our area. It's great. So I'm happy. :) like that. 
 
Well I love all of you bastante and love all your support. If you´re reading this right now, I love you. Individually, I love you. You are the best. Keep being the best and doing super cool awesome things, because you´re great. Know that I love you and will be home in less that a year and a half to give you a great big hug. :) LOVE YOU!!!!
 
Love,
Elder Yates
 
Elder Yates at the beach


The Beach

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Just like the weather here....‏

CHANGES ARE HERE! I can´t believe its already been another change. I will be entering my fourth change. But I will NOT be entering it here in Villa Nueva. Yesterday we received changes calls and the verdict was that I´m to leave :( I dont want to leave again!!! I just got here and I fell in love with this area! But the Lord has need for me elsewhere so elsewhere is where I shall go. I´ll keep ya´ll posted because changes are tomorrow. So, next week I´ll be in my new area.

But for better news, we had a lesson with Jorge and Lydia and a miracle happened. THEY FOUND THE PAPERS HE NEEDED TO GET MARRIED!!! I guess the robbers only took the money and threw out the papers and someone found them and returned them to Jorge. The Lord answers prayers! And many times he works through other people. There are angels here on earth :) So great. We talked to them about their marriage and they decided the first or second week in Januray. We really wanted them to get baptized and married this month but they want to wait a little bit and I respect their decision. I am really sad that I won't get to be here for their big days, another missionary will get to experience that. But, it doesnt matter which missionary. Only that they are making covenants with the Lord, right? 

On Sunday, I got to go to the TEMPLE DEDICATION! It was spectacular. Elder Uchtdorf came here with Elder Neil A Anderson and they dedicated the Quetzlatenango Temple, it was great. I could feel the spirit so strong even through the satellite transmission. They really are men of God. What an awesome experience and if you haven't seen pictures yet, you need to look online because it is a gorgeous temple. The house of the Lord. :) 

Well not much else has happened since last Friday. Today I need to say goodbye to a lot of people and pack a lot because tomorrow is the big day. Thank you all for everything you do and I have started writing my letters to you, so be ready for them. And next week, I should be in a brand new area! Keep reading your scriptures and doing good things and being obedient. I love you all and pray for you every day. Keep posted for my new area and new companion! :)

Love
Elder Yates
 



    Elder Yates in front of Christmas Tree



     Elder Yates at the Temple



     Elder Yates and Elder Ortega after the temple

Sunday, December 11, 2011

I love to see the temple‏

Hello EVERYONE!!! I cant believe it´s already December! Crazy huh? Yeah I know. So I've had a really busy couple of weeks. First, I FINALLY got your dearelders. I think they were trying to kill me and it almost worked. Some of the dearelders were from October. wayyy too much time. I will now work on writing you guys back. Please have patience, there are a lot of you I need to write and I don't have a lot of time, but I WILL write you. :) please and thank you.

Second, WE HAD ANOTHER BAPTISM LAST WEEKEND!!! We had a woman named Carmen Albisuris and she wanted to get baptized but kept telling us she wasn't ready. So we had her baptism date set for like the end of December. Well last week we visited her and she said ¨I´m ready and I want to get baptized this weekend.¨ There was no arguement from us, so we held her baptism and her grandson baptized her. It was great! I have pictures right here on my camera, but I don't have the freaking cord to the computer. I left it in the casa. So I will send the pictures on Tuesday. Promise. =)

Also this week, we had an actividad navideña and our zona (villa nueva) and another zona (chimaltenango) got together for food, games, service, and a great time. This was yesterday. It was great! First we went to an old run down school and we cleaned it up. It looks real nice now. :) Then we played soccer and human bowling and ate pizza and a whole bunch of good stuff. It was great. Then we had a spiritual night last night. We watched this movie called 17 miracles and it was so good. It was about the pioneers that made their way across America in the dead of winter and the trials they had. EVERYONE NEEDS TO WATCH THIS MOVIE. It was incredible the way these people put their faith and trust in the Lord and the Lord carried them to Zion. Many died of course, but it was amzing how they Lord worked miracles through there ordinary people with extraordinary faith. I COULD NOT HAVE BEEN A PIONEER, ever. It makes the trails we have here in the mission field seem like nothing, really a spiritual experience. A great way to celebrate my six month mark in the mission. :)

Then this morning, we got to go to the temple! It was awesome. Unfortunately, we went to the six o'clock in the morning session. And we had to be ready for the bus at the stake center by about 4:15 am. So we had to wake up this morning at about 3 am. So I'm pretty tired. And on top of that, we were fasting. So we were hungry and tired and extremely happy and grateful that we got to go to the house of the Lord and feel His spirit there as we prepared ourselves to baptize 204 people in Janurary. It was awesome.

Well this month we were preparing Jorge and Lydia Gomez to get married and baptized. But something happened. Jorge went to the capital to get the papers necessary for his marriage and on the way back on the bus, robbers got on and robbed EVERYTHING from EVERYONE, and yes, they robbed his papers for his wedding. It will take about a month to get them again. So we can definitely see Satan working hard against us. But we are determined to work harder. So it looks like we will baptize them in Janurary, adding to the 204 baptisms that we need. But we are working hard so don't worry. :)

Well I think that's about it this week. It has been a very quick week but a very great week.  Changes are on Wednesday. I can't believe I've been in this area for 6 weeks already. I will be going into my fourth change! Eeeek! Where is my mission going?! anyway. I love you all SO MUCH and I just want you to know that trials are good. In some of your dearelders, many of you have been telling me of some hard times you are having. Just remember, the Lord will try you and he will try you hard. But he will NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER give you more trials than you can handle. EVER. Just remember that He is your Father and He knows you better than you know yourself. Trust in Him, embrace the challenges, and you WILL be blessed. He loves you and wants to bless us when we are faithful to Him and His commandments. And always remember that God knows EVERYTHING. Trust in His knowledge. He knows more than us. He loves you more than you can possibly know and he knows each one of you. YOU ARE HIS CHILD. Remember, that I love you all too! And I´ll talk you soon! :) Have a great week!

Elder Yates

Sunday, December 4, 2011

oh what do you do in the summer time....‏

when all the world is green?

Greetings Bloggers! How is everyone? 'm doing great because we had BAPTISMS!!! Hermana Galdis was baptized by her grandson Brayon and Hermana Oralia asked ME to baptize her!! I of course was honored :) The pictures are kinda a funny story. Brayon, Hermana Gladis grandson, didn't have white pants that fit him, and he and I are the same size pants so I told him we could just share. We played rock, paper, scissors to see who would get to baptize first, and he won. So that is why I'm not wearing white pants. Because Brayon is wearing them. But don't worry. I baptized in white pants, they were just wet when I put them on :P

We are planning another baptism for this weekend!! Another Hermana we have been teaching says she wants to get baptized this Sunday and there wasn't any arguements from us. :) So we are planning her baptism this Sunday! I'm so excited for her! 

Unfortunately, we haven't been able to get a hold of the familia Estrada. They have been working everytime we stop by. But thankfully, Jorge and Lydia have been available. We had another lesson with them and challenged them to get married and then baptized, and they agreed!!!! We planned the wedding for the 10th of December and the baptism on the 18th. So they are going to get baptized! They are great. Sadly, we have changes on the 14th of December so one of us might not be here for their baptism! I hope I don't get changed! I want to stay here! 

Elder Ortega and I are wroking very hard and finding lots of hopeful familys. We feel we can find enough people to baptize in Janurary to have 204 baptisms! It's going to be great. I'm so excited. 

I hope everyone is doing fantastic! I miss each one of you very much. Thank you for your support. I will be home in a quick 18 months. Crazy to believe that I reach 6 months next week. AHHHHH. where does the time go?! Anyway, I love you all and hope you had a great Thanksgiving and I`ll talk to you soon! love you! 

Love
Elder Yates
 
 





Elder Yates and Elder Ortega eating McDonalds
 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

¡yo recibí tus cajas!‏

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!! Well, almost. Guatemalans don´t celebrate Thanksgiving.Rrather, they prepare hardcore for Christmas. People in Guatemala LOVE Christmas, for reals. So they are starting to put up lights. CrAzIeS!!

This week has been good. We unfortunately didn't have a lesson with the familia Estrada because he work's everyday and doesn't have a set schedule, but we are working hard with them. I'm not ready to give up on them yet! But, we have other investigators! They are Jorge and his wife Lydia, they are an older couple who live alone. Their kids are married and moved out and they are very receptive. They have been coming to church and even came to stake conference alone yesterday!! The problem is, like everyboedy in Guatemala, they aren't married, but that's an easy fix, only if they want to get married. Which i hope they do!! 

Yesterday was stake conference here in Villa Nueva and every other stake in Guatemala! The first presidency sent a satellite transmission to all of Guatemala and only Guatemala!!! IT WAS SO COOL!!!! Elder Holland spoke and so did Elder Ucthdorf!!! IT was awesome! and of course it was translated, but they spoke directly to the people of Guatemala. Such a spiritual experience, very cool. 

Also, President Brough, our mission president, posted a goal that we have: To get 204 baptisms in the month of January. So, in December, he has invited the whole mission to got the temple and to fast in the month of December to demonstrate our faith to achieve this goal. I know we can do it!  I'm so excited to go to the temple! Also, the Temple in Quetzaltenango is going to be dedicated on the 11th of December and we get to watch the dedication!! I'm so excited!! :) The temple is gorgeous. I LOVE TEMPLES!!!!!! 

Well, that's about it here. Keep praying and doing good things and trying to better yourselves everyday. That is the purpose of our lives, to also try and better ourselves to be closer to the Lord so we can have the spirit to be with us. So be obedient and God will bless you. It's that easy. Well I love you all! And hope you all have a happy happy happy Thanksgiving! Be grateful for EVERYTHING you have because there are always people that have less than you. :) Love you!!

Elder Yates

Saturday, November 19, 2011

trabajando como burros‏

Good Day Jovenes!!
How is everyone doing? This past week has been a great week. Elder Ortega and I are trabajando como burros y echando fuego in our area. If you can't understand that, learn Spanish! Or use google translator, whichever is faster :)  Elder Ortega and I found a great new family this week. They are the familia Estrada, Edgar, the father, is 19!!!! So young, and so is his wife! They have a 8 month old daughter named Jimena! They are great. They were outside their house and we talked to them and asked if we could share a message and they said yes. They were really grateful that we stopped by. Then we had another cita with them and we brought a member family with us and we had our lesson plan and everything. Then we started and Edgar went off about many of the things he did in his past that he's not too proud of and how he is still struggling with some of these things. But, he knows he can't anymore because he has a wife and daughter.  I bore my testimony that Elder Ortega and I weren't there by accident, that God has a plan for them, and if they would let us, we could change their lives for the better with our message. I told them that we weren't there to obligate them to do what we wanted, but we know that if they do, they will be blessed beyond ALL measure. And then the wife started to cry!! I've never made anyone cry with my testimony before. The spirit was SOOOO strong. The wife, Estefani, told us that she worries for her husband everyday and hopes that he makes good choices for his family but she worrries because she knows his track record. They are the PERFECT family for this gospel. I just pray and hope that they will let us change their lives for the better because that is what this message can do. So, please pray for them!!! They need your prayers!
Also, we are getting a baptism set up for two abuelitas who are going to get baptized this month as well as another woman whose daughter was baptized and now she wants to be baptized. Her name is Oralia. She is great. She has a firm testimony of the Book of Mormon.......and she can't read! She cannot read a single word but she reads the Book of Mormon with her daughter and her neighbor because her neighbor is a member. I'm so excited for them! But, we need to work with them a lot to prepare them for the covenants that they are going to make.
Well, my friends, that's about all this week. Please keep praying. Don't pray for me, but I would ask if you could please pray for my area and our investigators. THEY need your prayers and pray for everything! Heavenly Father loves to hear your prayers because YOU are his son or daughter. HE loves YOU.  Keep reading the scriptuires because that is how he guides you, through the counsel of the prophets. Oh and remember that I love YOU too! You're my favorite. mkay. Well keep sending me letters!!! :)
Love,
Elder Yates

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The other side of the rainbow

HOLA A TODOS! Como estan ustedes? Awesome I hope. Well changes were this past week and I GOT CHANGED! I know! I couldn't believe it either! Elder Lagos stayed in Ciudad Real. He was pretty bummed and actually I was too. I kinda wanted to stay. I LOVED Ciudad Real. Iit was great, but the Lord needs me elsewhere and I must answer the call. My new area is in the Zone Villa Nueva, so I'm still in the capital. The area is called La Union. Fun fact: it was Elder Lagos first area so everyone here knows him. Weird huh? The area is great, even though I really miss Ciudad Real. My new companion is Elder Ortega and he is from Panama. He is very short, very fast walker, very hard worker, and has 20 months in his mission. I will send pics soon.

Since I'm still new, I don't know a lot of the investigators yet but we are working hard so that we can have 3 baptisms this month. I`ll keep you all updated on it. We are teaching a lot of people here and its great. The difference between here and Ciudad Real is the people seem much nicer in the streets (always saying hi and what not and smiling) but when we contact them in their homes they don't want to hear a word from us. Ciudad real was the opposite, but everything is great. Working hard and I can't believe I already passed my 5 month mark! One more month and I`ll be a fourth done with my mission. Please tell me that isn't completely crazy, because it definitely is. Where has the time gone? no sè. 

Anyway, nothing really too exciting this week. Just getting situated in my new area and trying to get everything figured out. I'm sure my next couple letters will be more interesting when I start including stories about investigators and what not. Just know that i'm doing good. Working hard, smiling, laughing, eating ice cream :P (The rains gone! It hasn't rained in like a month! It's getting really hot here! The weather is super weird)  and baptizing of course. Keep sending dearelders so I can stay sane please.  I love you alllllll soooooooo muchhhhhhh and I hope you enjoy the pics.  Keep reading the scriptures!!! and read D&C 58: 2 - 5 and focus on verses 3 and 4. the BEST! LOVE YOU!

Love,
Elder Yates

My Zone

My District

Playing Futbol on P-Day

Saying Goodbye to Ward Mission Leader

Saying Goodbye to a Family

Saying Goodbye to Alma and Lorenzo

Elder Yates in Cuidad Real

Elder Yates Leaving Cuidad Real


Sunday, November 6, 2011

¡dulce o dinero!

Happy Halloweeeeeeen!!!!! The niños here say dulce o dinero! (candy or money. pretty smart huh?) Unfortunately, they don't celebrate it like we do in the states. They sure are missin out. Oh well. I hope everyone had a fantastic Halloween! Full of lots of laughs and screams!

So this Wednesday is changes!! I have no idea if it's me that's leaving the area or Elder Lagos. We get the official call tonight. He has one more change in the area than me so he is CONVINCED that he is leaving. He is telling everyone and is slowly and secretly beginning to pack his bags. Even though we both don't know still. I kinda hope I leave and he stays just because it would be funny, anyway.

So this past week has been a bit rough. Elder Lagos got sick on Wednesday and I got sick yesterday. Yuck!! The worst, so this week was kinda rough when it came to tracting, but this next week will be better!

All of our families are progressing nicely and Alma and Lorenzo even went to the temple this week to do baptisms for the first time! and they loved it! I'm so happy for them and I love them so much. They are beginning to do the work for their ancestors! yay! and they are preparing to go to the temple in a year too to make everlasting marriage convenents with our Father in Heaven. So awesome! Oh and Alma is pregnant!

I unfortunately don't have much time (or really anything that exciting) so I need to go but I miss all of you and love all you tons and tons and I love getting your dearelders so please keep sending them. Next week I´ll have a new companion and maybe a new area! so stay tuned!!!! :) much loveeeee!!!

Love,
Elder Yates

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I guess the sun was in hibernation‏

Greetings earthlings and welcome to the fantastical blog of a missionary. This week has been kinda hectic but really great! We found a couple more families that are really great!

First, the rain stopped!! It stopped on Thursday! So great!  Since then the sun has been out! But, for some reason it has been kinda cold, like 50F degrees. But at least the sun is out! B,ut as a result of all the rain, there have been a TON of landslides and mudslides and that kinda has all of Guatemala in a little panic. One even happened really close to our house! But no one was hurt (in that one at least). There was one landslide where two people were walking and the ground just fell out from underneath them and they both died! It killed a dog too! But, the sun is helping dry everything out.

On Wednesday, Elder James B. Martino from the Seventy came down and spoke to us! Only a couple zones from my mission were allowed to go and my Zone was one of them! It  was great to hear him speak! He was great and his words were definitely inspired. And you may remember, this is the same Elder Martino that gave a prayer at General Conference. The same! A man of God.

On Friday, it started off as a normal day and then we got a call to go to the mission office. So we went and found out that our zone had been selected to help with a service project. Because of the constant rain these past 2 weeks, many parts of Guatemala have flooded and are without food, water and shelter. So, we went to the airport here in Guatemala City and helped unload trucks full of clothes, water, and food, and helped load them on to planes to get shipped to other parts of Guatemala for those people that are in need. It was great! I love service and I especially love helping people who need help. So that was great. So, look for my picture in the next Ensign! :) Just kidding.

Then on Saturday, we had the baptism of Nancy and her sister Magdalena!! It was great!  Magdalena asked me to baptize her and I gladly accepted. I would do anything to help  others make everlasting convenants with our Heavenly Father. Unfortunately, the mother and other sister did not get baptized because they didn't have permission from the father. He is very against our religion and the only reason Magdalena and Nancy could get baptized is because they are both over 18 and therefore do not need a parents permission. The mother and sister (Roxeli) still want to get baptized and we are planning on talking to the father with the bishop here to help maybe sort some things out.

Then on Sunday, we had a Sunday dedicated to missionary work. So all the jovenes or teenagers in the ward sang in a choir and I played the piano! Then, they asked ME to give a talk about the blessings of missionary work, and finally, Magdalena asked me again to confirm her a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. So needless to say, my Sunday was quite busy. But it was such a great day.

Well that's about all from my end of things. Keep being awesome whoever is reading this! I love you and everything you do. Talk to you next week!

Love,
Elder Yates

ps. its NOT raining right now! What the....?






Sunday, October 23, 2011

Hurri-can(e) not stop raining

Greetings Humans! And extra-terrestials. Both are welcome to this blog. :) Well I'm pretty sure this past week, there was a hurricane down here because (and I´m not exaggerating) I haven't seen the sun in over a week. It's been raining everyday, all day. Its raining right now! Some days it is even really windy. So is it a hurricane? Can someone please tell me? Please and thank you! Oh and I bought a canoe. ;) jajaja just kidding.

I hope everyone is doing fine. Everything is fine here. Thank you Miss Mary for the gnome. I love him. I named him Murray and he watches me study. He is a good gnome. Very obedient.

So this past week, the Mission President wanted to start a new little routine thing so it was a rule that everyone in our district had to contact at LEAST 25 people everyday! So we were super busy this week running around knocking doors and talking to people in the street. We unfortunately fell a little short so we are doing it again this week and we know we can do it.

We still have the baptism date for Magdalena and Nancy set. We set it for the 22nd because the 23rd is their dad's birthday. The mother Lillian is ready to get baptized but is very scared, and therefore doesn't want to get baptized till a little later. It's unfortunate. She is praying to know if she should get baptized the same day as her daughers, but she is still unsure. So pray for her! As for her other daughter, Roxeli, she wants to get baptized too but since she is only 11 years old, we need the permission of the father and it is hard to get ahold of him! He's ALWAYS working!!

Other than that. Everything is great. Just working hard, smiling, eating delicious Guatemalan food, and reading the dearelders you send me. The life of a missionary. Keep studying everyone and working hard!! I am proud of each one of you and I am proud to call you my friends and family! And keep reading las escrituras!! Ellas son las palabras de Dios y contienen la plentidud del Evangelio de Jesucristo! Les Amo!!!

Elder Yates

Sunday, October 16, 2011

and the rains came down and the floods came up

Greetings friends and family. My name is Elder Yates and I am a missionary! This past week has been kind of hard to be honest. First the good news: Alma and Lorenzo were confirmed!! Alma asked the bishop to confirm her and so did Lorenzo. PSYCH!! Lorenzo picked MEEEE!!! AHHHH I was so scared! I had to confirm him a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints IN SPANISH!!!! IN FRONT OF THE WHOLE WARD!! IN THE TÚ FORM!!! But the spirit definitely helped me and somehow I made it through it on my first try. What a relief! The spirit was so strong for sure!

This week we had Pday as a Zone! It was so much fun! We played capture the flag and played games and ate pizza! Unfortunately, my companion Elder Lagos is VERY competative and HATES to lose. So while we were playing capture the flag, he went a little overboard and ended up twisting his ankle pretty bad. As a result, he couldn't walk the rest of the day, nor the day after, so those days were pretty hard because we were unable to leave the house.

Thursday I had the opportunity to go on divisiones with the district leader. He came to MY area! So I had to navigate and lead him around! EEEK! But everything went great! We contacted and had lessons! He said I did really good. I'm going to be training before you know it! uh oh! hahaha.

We are still going strong with Magdalena and her two sisters and mother. I mentioned we talked to her father and he accpeted the challenge of reading the Book of Mormon. Well apparently after we left, we turned the tv on and some pastor was talking about the evils of the world and he was like, Oh! thats my answer! the Book of Mormon is not true. We unfortunately haven't gotten to talk to him since. But Magdalena and her mother and sisters are scheduled to get baptized on the 23rd of this month! So pray for them!!

Finally, I am parting with a scripture that has helped me a ton! It's is D&C 122 verse 7. EVERYONE READ IT! It has helped me a ton, and sorry for no pictures. The computer this week is stupid. NEXT week though!

Love you all!!!!

Elder Yates

Saturday, October 8, 2011

General Conference should be every week!‏

Greetings everyone from Guatemala! I hope everyone had the magnificent priveledge to listen, ponder, and meditate, the words of our living prophet this weekend! How lucky we are to have a living prophet that shares with us the will of God! It is so important to heed his advice because everything he said is STRAIGHT from God. He is Gods mouthpiece! And my favorite talk was the one given by Dieter F. Uchtdorf Saturday morning. He talked about how we are so important to God and He is ALWAYS there for us. We are so lucky to have a Father in Heaven who loves us and wants the best for us always. :) What was your favorite talk and why? I would love to hear, send me a dearelder! :) Oh and here is the best part, I WATCHED IT IN ENGLISH!!!! They had a room set apart for gringo missionaries those very few Guatemaltecos that know English or are learning. So, I got to hear the words of the Lords servants directly from their mouths, what a blessing! Oh and I hope everyone heard the talk given by Jeffrey R Holland during the priesthood session! So direct! But it's true! So everyon preparing to serve a mission, PREPARE NOW! You'll be glad you did. I promise. And finally, congrats to Elder Jayson Jensen serving in Barranquilla Colombia on the annoucement of a new temple there. That is so exciting. Alomst as exciting as TWO temples in Provo!!!! YAYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love temples! They are the Lords house here on the earth and we would be lost without them. I challenge everyone to try and find time to visit them temple because there are many people who are not able to. I know that you will feel the spirit of the Lord and receive personal revelation.

And in between conferences on sunday, we HAD THE BAPTISM OF ALMA AND LORENZO!!!! It went great. They had tons of family there and tons of the ward came to support them. Alma asked Elder Lagos to baptize her and Lorenzo asked the Bishop. So that's him next to Elder Lagos in the picture. The bishop is so cool. He is a magnificent bishop who does great things for the ward and for missionary work. I hope you enjoy the pictures! We have come so far with them. I love them. They have such great spirits. Have I mentioned they are both 18 and are from a small village in Huehuetanango? So their first language is Canjoval. I can't understand it at all! Thank goodness they speak Spanish too!

And for everyone asking me, my spanish is coming along nicely. Having a latino companion helps a ton because whatever I want to say, I HAVE to say it in Spanish, most other gringo nuevos are good at gospel topics in Spanish, but I'm good at everything! :)

Well that's about it, nothing else new. I love all of you and hope to hear from you soon. (if I don't drown first =P) keep praying!

Elder Yates

Sunday, October 2, 2011

I think Jimmer should be the new Quarterback

Hello everyone! I hope everyone is having the best week of their lives! That includes everyone at BYU who has midterms this week!!!! Bwahahahaha. NOT ME! :) But I´m sure you will all do fantastic. Just study hard!

Anyway, everything is good here! We had the marriage of Alma and Lorenzo this week!! They were happily married on September 22, 2011. They were so cute and a bunch of their family came to support them! There were a ton of members there to support them in their awesome decision to get married. Everything went great. We were also planning on having their baptism on Sunday after church, but a little problem came up that we are taking care of right now and we will hopefully have them enter the waters of baptism so they can make eternal covnenants with their Father in Heaven. So pray for them! :)

Also this week, we found a great family. We have been teaching a mother and here 3 daughters ages 23, 20, and 11 for some time now and everytime we would have a lesson, the father was always working. Well this week during the lesson, he came home! He sat and listened to our message and was very receptive. He is very religious. He told us that in his life, he has only read one book: Harry Potter. Nah just kidding! The Bible. But he accepted our challenge to read the Book of Mormon and pray to know if it is true! Hooray! Oh and after my mission I´ll talk to him about reading Harry Potter because he really is missing out. But the Book of Mormon first because it IS more important :)

Also this week, I had the priveledge to give service! What a great opportunity. A Hermana in the ward needed a tree cut down because it was growing from underneath her house! So we chopped it down......with a machete! :) Sooooo awesome! Everyone needs a machete! They´re fun! :)

The rain hasn't slown down at all. Thankfully the earthquakes have but the rain is seriously crazy here. Hopefully though it will slow down because rainy season is coming to an end. I´ll keep ya´ll updated. Also, we had changes! I of course didn't get changed or anything nor my companion. But I am OFFICIALLY not the newest in the mission anymore! How crazy is that, that I've already been here 6 weeks in the mission field. que loco!

Well that's about all I got. Thanks for all your support and I hope many of you will receive the letters I sent soon. They´re a great read ;) I love you all. I love Guatemala. I love Spanish. I love the mission. I love the Book of Mormon. I love the gospel. I love BYU. I love Jimmer, and most importantly, I love the Lord. Keep doing good and keep choosing the right (choose the right in spanish is Haz lo justo which translates to Do The Good, so Do good everyone!) And keep sending me stuff or I´ll cry! (no seriously). Anyway. Love you!! Enjoy the picutures of Alma and Lorenzos wedding! Look how cute they are. :)

love,
Elder Yates

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A la gran.‏

 Hello everyone! How is everyone doing this week? Good? Good. Well, there was an earthquake this week! When you ask? Why about 9 minutes ago. :) My computer screen shook and my chair moved but the building is still standing so no harm done. Anyway, this week has been good. Tons of rain. The streets flooded 3 times this week! Oh my heck! Rain, rain go away and come back NEVER! Actually I´m getting used to it. It's not that bad. I have to carry an umbrella (or in spanish, una sombria) with me everywhere, even if we leave the house and its sunny and warm. There is a good chance it will rain on those days, and it does, but its alright. Rain is good.

Also this week we had 9 investigators attend sacrament meeting!!! YAYYY!!! So awesome. Including Alma and Lorenzo. They were at church before Elder Lagos and I were! They are awesome. We have scheduled this week their wedding on Wednesday and their baptism on Sunday so pray that everything goes great! And pray that I catch the bouquet! (actually don't,  I´m a missionary and I cant get married for another 21.5 months). But I´m so excited for them!

Also the familia Ralack is going good too. He still needs to talk to his soon to be ex wife about a divorce though. We are working hard with them and so I ask for your prayers for them too! I know Heavenly Father want them to get married and baptized so I know somehow we´ll find a way to make it work.

We found a couple new investigators this week too so wish us luck for them! The members here have been awesome and been giving us references to their friends and neighbors! I love the ward here! They are so awesome.

And here is a little Guatemalan culture for everyone. The drivers here are the worst I have ever seen. (yes, even worse than Utah.) and I have come to realize that the rules of driving here are to get from point A to point B anyway possible. It doesn't matter how many people you cut off, how fast you drive, how many pedestrians you almost hit, and it even doesn't matter if you drive in the correct lane. People here will drive into on coming traffic if necessary. So just keep that in mind if you ever visit Guatemala. Ttake a taxi. They drive crazy too but they can at least get you to where you need to be. I love Guatemala.

Well everyone, that's about it for this week. I just handed my Zone Leaders a handful of letters so be expecting one soon. I haven't had time to write ALL of you which I am going to work on tomorrow. Well much love and stay awesome. Keep praying and reading your scriptures. Don't ask questions. JUST DO IT! :) please.

Love,
Elder Yates.

ps. another earthquake just happened! should I be worried?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Another day, another quetzal.

Welcome everybody to my blog!! Hope you are all having the best day of your lives today, and if not, there´s always tomorrow ;) Well this week has been adventerous. Elder Lagos had a meeting that was only for older missionaries so I didn't have to go! So Thursday and Friday I went on divisiones with another newbie whos companion went with mine to the meeting. We went to his area called Santa Elena. It's up in the mountains! It was so cool! I loved his area. It was so rural (it kinda reminded me of Fallon). There were cows just chillin in the streets and people were riding horses through the town. I walked outside and asked my companion why it was so foggy. I couldnt see 10 feet in front of me. But he told me that it wasn't foggy. It was a cloud! And sure enough I could see the ´´fog´´ moving! I was standing in a cloud! So cool. The people were so humble up there. Many of the homes didn't even have electricity. So, we were teaching this one family and had to use a candle to read the Book of Mormon. Such a neat experience. Also it rained up there harder than it did in my area! I didn't think that was possible! Also that night, when I was trying to go to sleep, there was an earthquake! It was pretty big too, but I didn't die :) Come to find out, Santa Elena is constructed right next to an active volcano and that's the reason there was the earthquake. My companion says it happens all the time. It felt cool. :)

This week was pretty tough for us. My companion and I were gone all Thursday and Friday for the meetings and then Saturday, Elder Lagos got really sick, so we couldn't leave the house Saturday because he could barely get out of bed, so that day was rough. And then come to find out, the family Ralack who have a fecha baptismal, have to wait a while because the dad is married to someone else! Blast!!!!!!! So we have to divorce him for that wife and then marry him to his actual wife and then baptize them. But they are willing to do whatever it takes so we definitely have our work cut out for us.

So yesterday here in Guatemala it was a big day. It was the elections! The people were going nuts trying to vote. There was like hardly anyone at church because they all had to go out and vote! The new president will take office in January, so that has been going on like crazy here.  But other than that nothing else is really new. It rains everyday. Oh wait but thats not new. :P

I have alot of letters to mail to you guys but many of you are back at school and I don't have your school addresses so please send them to me! I love you all times infinity and I will talk to you next week! Keep reading your scriptures and doing the things your are supposed to do and you will be blessed! :) Love you!

Love,
Elder Yates

PS the picture is us making tortillas on a pday! yummy!!!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The sun will come out tomorrow!

Ha! Maybe not. Actually. The last week hasn't been that bad. But when it does rain, its rains, hard. So hard actually that our roof flooded and the water is leaking in through the walls. Hahahaha. Oh gosh. Guatemala.

Hello friends and family! I hope you are all doing flippen fantastic! I am doing flippen fantastic. My companion and I have been working very hard to find new people since our last baptism. We found one family that is awesome! WE have visited with them only a couple times but they are ready for baptism! We scheduled it later this month! So stay tuned!! Also, we got Lorenzo and Alma to commit to baptism too! They are the ones that didn't have a bed but we gave them one. They are such a good couple. Their marriage is set for the 18th (they are both 18!! so young!) and then their baptism the 25th of this month. So stay tuned! :)

Oh and a very merry Birthday to two of my most favorite girls in the whole world Mary Christensen and her daughter Darcy. Darcy just turned 1 and Mary turned 21! Or thereabouts ;) Happy Birthday and I miss you and love you!

SO I have come to a conclusion about the people here. There are 2 types of people towards the missionaries. The very nice smile and say hi types of people. And then there are the people that won't even give you the time of day. I think this is because we are missionaries and they think we are here to change peoples religions (which is partly true) and they don't think people should meddle with other peoples religions. The people here are EXTREMELY religious. For serious. They have their religion and you have yours and all religions are good and you shouldn't mess with that. Oh well. I am still very friendly to these people because I love them, even though when I say Buenos Dias they just grunt at me. Oh wellllllll :)

I also had a great service opportunity. A families house that isn't in our area, got destroyed by a minor landslide so my companion and I went and helped them rebuild their home in a completely new spot. We started from scratch! I can now build a house ya´ll!! I felt like Bob the Builder out there, well minus the whole no singing tools thing. And I didn't sing  because the family was pretty bumbed that their house was no more. But giving service is fun! So everyone drop what you are doing and go serve someone and then thank me later :)

Also, we had a meeting in the capital for all the newbies and their trainers. The APs decided to do an excercise and have the newbies teach them (the APs) lesson one. Thankfully I didn't get picked. PSYCH! I did! With two LAtinos!! I have the worst luck and I had to do it in front of the president and his wife. I almost peed down both legs when they called my name, but I think I did good. The president and his wife both told me they were pretty impressed. Next thing you know I´ll be AP. hahaha. no.

I apologize that I still haven't written any letters. SO if you think I have sent you one, no. I haven't. I haven't sent anyone a letter. It's hard on p-days because we don't have time. We have to clean and go shopping and stuff like that, but I promise I'll get better and start sending some loveeeeeee :) Love you all times a million. I miss you all like crazy. And I tried sending some pics back today but the computer is being STUPID! BOTHERED!!! oh well. I'll try again next week. Take care ya´ll! Read your scriptures and pray!

Love,
Elder Yates

Monday, September 5, 2011

I love Guacemole!

No seriously. I do. I never realized before but guacemole is really good and so is avocado. Yummy! I eat it all the time here!  The food here is awesome! the other day we had hot dogs! but this is how we ate them. Lined the bun with guacemole, then inserted the hot dog, then covered it with shredded lettuce and mayonaise and it was delicious! I ate 4 of them! Then we had tortillas lined with guacemole and mushed black beans, then put chicken and scrambled egg on it and i got sick off it I ate so many. SOOOOO delicious. I love Guatemalan food!

 I GOT MY FIRST BAPTISM THIS WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Unfortunately last week when we were supposed to baptize mother and son Kony and Dicxon, a small problem arose and so they changed the date of their baptism to the 27th. Everything went perfectly! Son Dicxon asked me to baptize him!!!!! SO COOL!!!! Even though we had to do it twice because his foot came up the first time. Such an awesome expereicence. Also we have another couple investigating, their names are Alma and Lorenzo. They are such a humble couple and very poor. They both JUST turned 18 so they are still young and in loveeeeee :) Thats why we are working with them to get married! And then baptized! Yay! Just yesterday even, a member in the ward donated an old bed that he was using to them. They were sleeping on the ground before! They were so happy to receive it! So awesome! I love being a missionary!



Also, before I forget, Morgan Ashley Howard (Martinadale). I received your dearelder THIS week so I apologize for not putting you in the last email. I miss you like CrAzY and can't wait till I can see you again. I will try and write you a letter and send it to the university your are studying your little butt off at right? mkay good :) Love you Morg and take care.

I think you are right about the trpoical storm here. It rained yesterday for about 8 hours STRAIGHT. Didn't stop once. All the streets were flooded and we had to be super careful and walk on all the curbs. Its unreal the rain here. I wish you could all experience it. Anyway.

Well its time for me to wrap it up! I love you all and can't wait to read your dearelders that I know you are sending me! :) Talk to you guys soon! Keep praying and reading your scriptures of course ;)

With love,
Elder Yates

Sunday, August 28, 2011

August 22, 2011

Week 2! Hello everyone! I love times infinity because I recieved your dear elders! Thank you so much for everything! My companion was jealous because I received so much! :) I really want to write all of you back, but the problem is it would take like 184351387 years for you to get them because they have to go through the mission office and I only go there once every couple weeks. So I'm just going to include all of you in this email! :)

Megan Clements: I am so glad that you found a job! Keep working hard and have a blast at BYU this semester and don't forget to keep me updated on yours and Katies shananigans! :)

McCall Hunt: I yelled when I read that you want to serve a mission! I am SOOOOOOOO happy for you! A mission will strengthen your testimony time a zillion. It has already strengthened mine more than I thought possible. If you are lacking the spirit, praying, reading your scriptures, or my favorite, listen to church music! I always feel the spirit when I listen to church music. I love you and miss you like crazy!!!!

Brother and Sister Beach: tell Tricia I said hi and I miss her!  Thank you so much for the pictures! They are awesome! Tell your primary class thank you for me and that they are awesome!

Kennedy! Mud volleyball sounds fun! lets play when i get back! and dont get too bored ok? unless its because you are missin me! then its ok :) i miss you and love you and cant wait to hear from you again

Aubrey! Please send me a package with you in it!! But if you can't I´ll take whatever you want to send me :) I miss you here in guacemole (speaking of which, I like guacemole now) and I love you like crazy and miss you always. keep writing me!!!!

Ashley! Keep takin pictures! Even if its not for business. I'm sure you'll find a happy medium. Also, thank you for the movie update. Watch the movies with me when i get back mkay? And finally, if a mission isn't in the cards, its not in the cards. Just don't push something that isn't going to happen okay? Miss you and love you!

Wendy! Keep studying girl! you are going to do great things with your life. But dont forget to have fun too. I miss you and love you and can't wait to see you and tell carmen I said hi!

Mary and Derek and Darcy and Sherman (and Pancho)
I love you all and miss you like crazy and appreciate the marathon letter. and please send me a small gnome! I would love that forver! Can't wait to see pictures of you! :)

Michelle and Kasey! Thank you for your letter. It sounds like you are doing great. I am doing great too,. and miss you guys. Can't wait to hear from you again soon! Love you! and tell everyone I said hey! Oh and Kasey is going to be a great nurse!

That is all the time i have :( but I will update everyone with my life next week. just know that I am doing fine and miss everyone! Love you!

Friday, August 19, 2011

August 15, 2011

Greetings from the crazy, crazy world of Guatemala! It is my first week in the field and things are already crazy, but definitely in a good way. So on Tuesday we left the MTC, and there were 18 of us in total who left, 7 gringos and 11 latinos. They took us to the area in the mission where the APs live to stay for the night until the next day when we would receive our first areas and trainers. The area is called Boca del Monte. It was a very poor area but the people were great. We went tracting that first night. I went with a nuevo Laino and an expierenced Latino. So no English for me :) we tracted until about 7 when they asked us to return for dinner and get ready for bed. The APs miscounted how many missionaries were there so they bought to many pizzas. We each ended up getting our own pizza which was good because I was starving. haha. The people at the MTC forgot to tell us to pack an overnight bag so we didnt have shampoo, towels, or toothbrushes. Oh well, we survived somehow.

The next day we woke up and went to this giant stake center where all the missionaries were. I got my trainer and first area! My area is in Villa Hermosa and it is called Ciudad Real. It is in the capital. It is a very, very poor area but the people are crazy and nice, especially to a 6 foot 2 white pellirojo kid, or in meters, thats about 1.95 meters. The only way I can accurately describe this place is like China Town San Francisco, but Guatemalan style. Its nuts. Anyway. My trainers name is Elder Lagos. That´s Spanish for lakes. And yes. He´s a Latino. 18 new missionaries and 3 latino trainers and I got one. Just my luck! But it´s great. He is from Honduras and doesn't speak a word of english. (well he does now because I taught him) so from the minute I wake up, to the minute I go to bed, it´s Spanish, all the time. Spanish. But it´s good, our area is fairly big considering we walk everywhere. The members though are amazing and many of the kids are learning english so they are always trying to speak English with me. But it´s great.

We already have a baptism set up! Crazy huh? Unfortunately I didn't do much of the work. It´s a mother and son and their names are Kony and Dicxon. Her husband passed away. Elder Lagos and Elder Richards (Elder Lagos companion before me) already had the baptsm date set up but I have helped confirm it. It is set for next weekend so hopefully everything goes well. We have a lot of other investigators but none that are progressing at the rate we would like them to. We have met a couple people who could be hopefuls because they are humble and want to learn but I´m still new so we haven't had very many lessons with them. So pray for them! :)

The next thing I want to talk about is the weather. The weather is CrAzY. While in the MTC, it would rain. But I have never, EVER experienced the rain like I have the past couple of days. There are not words in the English dictionary that can accurately describe the thunderstorms the past couple of days. But I will try. The rain comes down so hard that you cant even hear yourself think. The lightning is a constant event that lights up the night sky, all the time. And the thunder, it doesn't thunder, it crashes. I have never heard thunder like that in my life. And when it thunders and I have the urge to scream like a child and run back to the appartment, there are women and children who hardly notice it. In other words. Holy heck. it´s crazy.

My appartment is nice. It is large, especially only for the two of us that live there. There is running water and the shower actually does have hot water. Well thats about it in the shower. 2 options: scalding hot, or freezing. The first day I chose freezing which was a mistake. Now I take scalding hot showers because hot water is hot water right? And we even have a cocinera! She´s the best. Her name is Lety (pronounced Lady) and she is a member. She cooks lunch for us everyday. We are so lucky because I have learned that other missionaries in my district don't have cocineras and there are even a couple missionaries that have to use buckets to shower.  That would be the worst ever.

Now I know what you are thinking, where are the pictures you promised us Elder Yates?! I regret to inform you that I forgot my camera at the appartment. Please accept my apology with a promise that I will definitely send some pics next week. I do apologize. But I would love to here everything that is going on in your lives. Please let me know! Keep those dearelders coming! I love you all more than words can describe and I cant wait to see you beautiful smiling faces in just over 21 months. Stay tuned for my next letter home with pictures! :)

Finally, there is a word here that is hilarious. Everyone here says it. The word is ´puchica´ It means like wow/cool/dangit/oh my heck. So start saying it there! Like "awww puchica" when something doesn't go quite right. :) It's fun. Oh and the word calidad means like cool or sweet. so put that word in your vocab too! Love you all and will write again soon! Love you all!

Elder Yates

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

August 8, 2011

Hello everyone!

This letter unfortuneately isn't going to be very long again because they are only giving us 20 minutes today to write home. But today is August 8th which marks my 2 month mark! AHHHH so crazy. Only 22 quick months to go, or if you want to think about it like this, only 22 more fast sundays left! ;) And tomorrow I go into the mission field! AHHHHHH I´m so scared! It is so weird! Especially since many of my amigos that came into the MTC around the same time as me, David Hymas, Daniel Lynn, Kevin Christeansen, Tyler Hubbard, are either done, or almost done! That is so weird to me! Just know that I am doing great and I am really excited/scared about tomorrrow but I know that it is going to be great. The next email back should be a lot longer as well as contain pictures (hopefully). The CCM here was a great experience and I am so happy that I had the opportunity to come here. Also, know that if you want to send me a dearelder, you have to click on Guatemala Guatemala City Central Mission and it should still be for free. I love getting your letters so keep sending them! I love you all and hope to hear from you soon! Keep praying and reading your scriptures!

Love, Elder Yates

Sunday, August 7, 2011

August 3, 2011

 Hello everyone!

So this one is going to be quick cuz I don't have much time but this week I went proselyting! It was great! We unfortunately weren't able to go to the plaza because it was raing really hard so we just went around the MTC and contacted people on the street and knocked on peoples doors! It was great! We talked to like 30 people and even gave out a whole bunch of Books of Mormon to people.  Me and Elder Johansen went together. Two gringos! So crazy. The spirit was very strong. Unfortunately this is all I have time for but next week I will be in the field and will write more next week. I love all of you and know this church is true. Please read 1 Nefi 15: 13 and 14. it is about the work I am doing right now! So crazy! I love you all and will talk to you soon!

Love, Elder Yates

Saturday, July 30, 2011

July 27, 2011

Bienvenidos a todos!

How is everyone doing? I hope more of you have recieved my letters home. If you´re still waiting, I promise one is coming soon so just hang tight. Well I am officially in my last 3 weeks in the MTC. Crazy huh? So all the Norteamericanos left and a whole bunch of new ones showed up! Unlike last time, there are a TON more Nortes than Latinos. It kinda sucks because many Nortes don´t get an American companion. I fortunately did get one. His name is Elder Garcia and he from Nicaragua. He is going to serve in Guatemala City South. His companion though is going central so we´ll be in the same mission which is pretty cool. This week has actually gone by pretty slow because once you get out of a routine, things seem to slow down, and that is what happened this week with all the new missionaries coming in. Last night we watched a MTC devotional from Elder Bednar which was kinda cool because we all happened to be there when he gave it. He gave it at the Provo MTC on June 24, 2011 and we were all there! Other general authorities that happened to be there at that time included Dallin H Oaks, Russel M Nelsen, Jeffrey R Holland, M Russell Ballard, and Richard G Scott. It was cool hearing his words again.  Nothing else is really that new here. Oh but for all of those of you that heard about the Guatemalan missionary that was attacked by a lion, I do not know him and this is that last report I heard about him. He is still in the hospital recuperating. He lost an arm and apparently his leg was severly severed. They think he is going to make it though so keep him in your prayers. But just know that I am fine and safe :) I love everyone here and if you want to send me a letter, just wait till my mother puts my mission field address up because if you send it to the MTC here, I´ll get it, but it will just be late. Keep reading your scriptures everyone and keep praying. I know God hears your prayers and I know he answers them.  I know this church is true and that missionary work is called of God. I love you all and I am praying for you. Talk to you next week!
Love, Elder Yates.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

July 19, 2011

Hello everyone!
Today has been the best! We got to leave the MTC to go to town! All the Latinos left and so did the old North Americans so all the North Americans that were staying got to go into town! It was awesome! First we went to this giant geographical map of Guatemala. It was so cool. I got to see the area where I´m going to be serving. I got some good pictures so I will try and send them home as soon as I can. Then we went to this awesome underground flea market type place. We got to bargain for things with the store owners! I got a soccer jersey and a cool knapsack type thing and I only spent 100 quetzales! or about 12 dollars. Bargain shopper!! jajaja anyway. After that we got to go to a REAL mall. It was very cool! There was American food there! It´s so weird that everything in the mall was in quetzales. I´m really going to have to get used to that. 1 US dollar is equal to about 7.5 quetzales. It is a weird ratio. Also, everything here is in the metric system! Everyone in America should know the metric system! It is so easy! But I still don´t understand it. I always have to ask: ¨what is that in feet and miles?¨I need to practice it looks like. All in all, today was a really cool day. It was so nice to leave the MTC for a little bit and experience the real world. Well, the real Guatemalan world. It is quite an amazing place. Everyone should come to Guatemala. The culture, the people, the weather, the customs, it´s all SOOOOO different and Guatemala isn´t THAT far from the US. But it really is a completely different world. Anyway. I decided to not move up to a Latino district. They maestros said my spanish was excellent and that I would have been fine there but I just didn´t feel it was the right decision for me. I felt that I needed to stay with my district now. There are a couple people who went up and a couple people who could have gone up, but stayed. Anyway. I hope everyone is doing good. I miss everyone like crazy and I appreciate your dearelders. They really keep me going. I am trying really REALLY hard to write everyone back but we dont have much time to write letters here so I promise I´m really trying to write all of you. So keep waiting because I promise a letter is coming soon! :) I love you all and hope you are doing fantastic. Yo sé que está iglesia es verdadera. Yo sé que José Smith fue un profeta y el vio Dios y Jesucristo. Yo sé El Libro de Mormón contiene la plentitud del Evangelio. My nueva escritura favorita es en DyC sección 68 versículo 6. Por favor, todos leenlo. I love you all and will talk to you again soon. oh! and please keep the letters coming. I lOVE THEM!!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

July 13, 2011

Hello everyone!
How is everyone doing?! I miss you all very much but everything is going great here. Just another week gone in Guatemala.  The best thing that happened last week was we got to leave to go Proselyting! It was awesome! We went to Central Plaza in Zona 1. That is where the main Catholic Church is (which is gorgeous) and also there is a giant fountain and a giant palace where the governor lives. It is so pretty! There were a ton of people out there too! Thank goodness we got to go with our Latin Companions.  Elder Bravo and Elder Ochoa are the best! They did so good. The first guy we contacted was completely dis-interested in our message. But he listened anyway which is kinda frusturating because he pretty much wasted our time. But it´s fine. The second person we contacted was a family. They seemed disinterested as well but when we asked for their contact information, they gave it to us. I pray everything works out for them. Third, we talked to a devout Cathloic man that enjoyed hearing what we had to say, but really didn´t want to change religions. But we gave him a Book of Mormon and he told us he was going home to compare it to the Bible. We told him ¨please go ahead!¨ He´ll probably get baptized. Lastly, we were returning to the bus when a young man probably in his 20´s came up to us and started asking questions. We gave him the whole talk and answered his questions and gave him a Book of Mormon. When it came time to get his contact information, he gave us his address and phone number and told us to come Saturday because that is when his whole family will be home. It was so cool! I hope everything works out there too! I could understand all the things my companions were saying but I had trouble understanding what the people were saying because they kind of mumbled. But I bore my testimony in spanish and my companions told me that I did really good. We are scheduled to go again in 3 weeks but the next time we go without our Latin Companions. I´m nervous but it will be good I think. I´m excited. Also next week we are scheduled to leave the MTC for a little bit and go to a local mall and flea market! I´m so excited! Also, because my Spanish is so good, the Maestros want to move me up to a Latino district next Wednesday because they think I will learn Spanish faster there.  I´m sure they´re right but I don't think I want to because I like the district I have now and I have been helping to teach them and they really need my help.  So I kinda hope that I just stay where I am but I´ll let you guys know what happens.  It is going to be so nice to go out and experience Guatemalan culture for real.  Also, just so everyone knows, my P-Day is very short right now because the temple is closed so I only get about 3 hours of free time so I apologize now if it takes a while to write you back. Just know that I will! You guys are the best and I love and miss everyone of you!  Oh! and I had canteloupe juice yesterday. I wasn't aware that was possible. It was actually pretty good. Well my time is up. I love you all and hope you have a fantastic week!
Love, Elder Mason Yates.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

July 6, 2011

Hola everyone!

How is everyone doing? Fantastic I hope. Everything is going great here! I have been in Guatemala for a whole week now! So crazy! It´s gone by really fast but don´t worry because there isn´t a day that goes by that I don´t think about each one of you :) Anyway. So I told you a little about my companion Elder Johansen last week. He´s a great guy. We get along good. And my district is good too. The Hermanas name from Tonga that I couldn´t pronounce, I can finally say! I´ve been practicing all week! Her name is Hermana Lafoóu-kaho (La Fo Oh Ka Ho) She knows Tongan, Tahitian, English and is learning Spanish because she is serving in Panama. I also got to meet my Latino companions! There names are Elder Bravo and Elder Ochoa. Elder Bravo is from here in Gutemala City and will be serving in Nicaragua and Elder Ochoa is from Quetzletanango and will be serving in Peru. Very cool. Elder Bravo knows quite a bit of english because he took 2 years in High School and he loves speaking it! He wants to be fluent so bad! So he always speaks to me in english and then if he doesn't know a word, he´ll ask me in Spanish. It's good practice for me because whatever he said in English, I´ll repeat it back to him in Spanish to see if what he said was correct. It´s great. Elder Ochoa doesn't know any English besides a couple words here and there. I keep telling him to speak in English because he does want to learn but he is very self concious which I can understand because I was the same way with Spanish. He is learning though. Even though they are both going to be speaking Spanish on their missions, the church really wants them to learn English because that is the language the original Book of Mormon was written and so it´s more accurate, unlike the translated spanish Book of Mormon. plus they will probably have North American companions in the mission field so they will have an hour of language study everyday and can use that time to study English. They were given books to help them learn English and they have asked the North American companions to help them learn everyday and I love it! It´s so much fun teaching them English! It is so hard though because English has so many exceptions. I feel bad for them because they get frusturated sometimes but I tell them to just keep trying! You´ll get it! How lucky we are to know english. I would rather learn Spanish than learn English. I got to go to the temple last Friday! It was so pretty! Actually if I look to the left right now and look out the window I can see it! It is very small but it is very beautiful. Walking back from the temple Elder Johansen and I had to walk through a gas station and as we were walking through, this giant armoured truck pulled up and this giant guys with giant shotguns jumped out and ran into the gas station. All we could say to them was ¨Buenos dias!¨ and hope they just ignored us. The laws are so different here in Guatemala. but that´s not always a bad thing I guess. Just the fact that there are guns everywhere. hahaha. hmmmmmmm. Anyway. Sunday was fast and testimony meeting and I wasnt planning on bearing my testimony but my latino companions got up on the stand and then kept waving me up. So I caved and bore my testimony.......in Spanish! After the meeting was over, the branch president came up to me and told me that my Spanish was extremely good! He was so impressed!  Apparently a lot of other people were impressed as well. I was so nervous but I´m glad I bore my testimony, it was very cool. The food here is very different. We have a different type of juice everyday. Some types of juices include pineapple, watermelon, apple, grape, banana, milk (juice), strawberry, and tons of others.  The food is very local. We have beans everyday for breakfast! That´s weird, but they aren,t bad. Also, it´s rude to throw food away here so I have to eat it all! I´m so gordo now! Good thing its good food. Alright friends, family, stalkers, and people I have talked to once, it is time for me to go. There are a thousand more things I would love to share with you but time does not permit me to do so. Just know that I am doing fantastic and that I love Guatemala, even though it rains everyday, most of the day. I will email you all again in exatcly a week! Love you all and hope you are doing fantastic!
Love, Elder Yates

Sunday, July 3, 2011

I´m in Guatemala!‏

Well hello everyone!
Elder Yates here just checking in to tell you all that I am officially in Guatemala. The flight was horrendous. For serious. We took off at about 1:00 am and I slept on and off the whole flight. A little niño behind me was screaming and crying a lot of the night. So that made it very hard to sleep. But I managed. Anyway. So we landed in Guatemala City at about 7:15 this morning. The airport was very cool. It was very small but had a neat urban feel to it. Oh and while we we´re flying in, I saw a whole bunch of valcanoes out of my window. Very cool. Anyway. So after getting through immigration and finding our luggage, we found our driver. Our transportation to the MTC was a brightly colored old-school school bus. It was pretty cool I´m not going to lie. During the drive to the MTC, I realized the Guatemala is one of those countries where everyone is a bad driver, and because of that reason, everyone honks. There is a lot of honking here. And it didn´t help that our driver almost got in about six accidents on the way home. Pero, está bien. Thank goodness they let us rest and shower before we had to start classes and stuff.  I actually just slept in my church clothes because I was so tired. Best nap ever.  But the MTC here is great! It is very small which is nice. Except there are a lot of missionaries here right now so that can get kinda full. But everything for the most part is downsized. The best part is, the temple is right next door so you can actually see the temple from the MTC. Our temple day is on friday so that is when we will be able to go.  I´m so excited. So my new companions name is Elder Johansen. He is from Morgan Utah and went to Utah State last year. He is going to Guatemala City South. He is extremely outgoing! He loves to talk to everyone and just be around people. In fact, while waiting in line to board the plane, he gave a kid a Book of Mormon just while we were waiting. He is a great guy though. His sister is actually currently serving in my mission (Guatemala City Central) so he keeps telling me to look for her when I go out into the field. Oh and did I mention he´s most likely the only other ginger in Guatemala besides me? Well yeah he is. Only two red heads in the MTC and probably all of Guatemala and we get partnered up as companions. Fate? maybe. Hilarious? definitely. Anyways. My district is very cool. Almost everyone is either going to Guatemala City South or Central. We have two Hermanas in our district and they are both going to Panama. One hermana is from Tonga and I CANNOT say (little lone spell) her last name. They are both very nice though.  It is very humid here! Not as humid as I thought it would be but still very humid. It is definitely going to take some getting used to. And time is something that I have plenty of.  So this MTC is used for North Americans going to Central America as well as Latinos going Spanish speaking too. So they call them the Latinos and the North Americans. Most of the Latinos don´t know any english at all, and as a result, they give us Latino companions. My companions names are Elder Bravo and Elder Chocoa. I haven´t met them yet. I will meet them tomorrow.  I´m very excited.  One thing that I´m really going to have to get used to (besides the Spanish keyboard I´m using. Everything is in the wrong place! Is eating all the food they give you; which is a lot. It is disrepectful to throw food away so I´m forcing myself to eat. I´m definitely going to be fat by the time I leave here. Good thing the food is good! Here is my MTC address which you can write to for the next six weeks (i dont know where the enter key is so I will type break when there should be an enter):    Boulevard Vista Hermosa [break] 23-71 Zona 15 Vista Hermosa 1 [break] C.P.01015 Guatemala [break] Ciudad de Guatemala.    Or you can go to dearelder.com and select guatemala MTC. It takes a while for the letters to get here but they will come. I will try to write back but it´s difficult from a different country so if I don't please don´t be offended. Alright. Well my time is up but I love you all and can't wait to let you all know about my adventures! Oh and Hermana Bauserman, thanks for being a great teacher and putting up with our shananigans :) [see? I told you I would include something] well that´s all for now but I love you all and I love this gospel! Keep praying and keep reading your scriptures! You will be blessed! ;)  
Love, Elder Yates

Sunday, June 26, 2011

June 23, 2011

Salutations friends, family, and complete strangers! Elder Yates here telling everyone that I got my travel plans! So exciting! The UNexciting part is that my flight leaves on tuesday the 28th at 10:00 PM. AT NIGHT! I'm going to have a long flight ahead of me. but it's okay. I'm excited. anyways. I scheduled for a layover in Los Angeles and then I'm supposed to land in Guatemala City at 6:30 in the morning. I can't wait. I can't believe it's already been almost 3 weeks. There is only one other elder in my district going to Guatemala the same day (but different mission) and another leaving that day too to go to the Madrid, Spain MTC. There is another elder who is supposed to go to Spain but his visa hasn't come yet so he has to stay a little bit longer. Actually, he has a meeting with the Spain Consolate on monday so let's hope everything goes smoothly and he gets to leave soon. Anyways, this week is so busy! First of all, one of the highest recorded number of missionaries entered yesterday. There were about 600 missionaries that entered yesterday! There were only about 400 when I came in. The 'population' here so to speak, jumped from about 2100 missionaries to about 2700 almost 2800 missionaries. So needless to say it's busy right now. And on top of that, all of the new mission presidents are here this week and it's customary for general authorities to speak to the mission presidents during this week so many parts of the buildings are closed off for safety reasons. In fact, about 10 minutes ago when me and a couple of elders from my district were leaving lunch, we saw Elder Christofferson in the hallway and he waved to us. Apparently about 2 minutes after we left he came over and shook some missionaries hands, looks like we should have stayed a little longer. oh well.
Oh and just so everyone knows, every week we have to wake up early and go do service and last week we had to clean one of the study buildings.  Guess what job me and Elder Peterson got? That's right, toilet duty. So there you go. The universe does have a sense of humor. Karma i guess. Thankfully this week we had to sweep but just thought it was funny that last week I got stuck with toilet duty. Oh well it wasn't THAT bad.
Well tonight Elder Peterson and I are teaching our first lesson entirely in Spanish. I'm very nervous but I'm hoping everything goes good. I'm hoping the spirit, as well as the gift of tongues, helps us out. It should be fine, but pray for us anyway! :)
I saw Tyler Hubbard today. I didn't get a chance to talk to him because he was on his way to class. But yeah he's here. I'm still looking for Kevin and Jack and President Weed. They should be around here somewhere. I see Mitchell Leblanc pretty much everyday because we have class in the same building and he said he hasn't seen any of them. I'll keep looking though.
I also got to go to the temple again today! I love the temple. It's the best.
Thank you everyone for the letters! I really appreciate them! They are great. But please no more goodies/snacks/treats/cookies/brownies/anything edible. I promise they aren't starving me here and I really can't eat all the food. But the gesture is appreciated I promise. When I get out into the mission field please feel free to send me whatever your heart desires or what you think my heart will desire, but as for right now, nada mas por favor :)
Morgan Howard, if you're reading this. I got you dearelder but I don't have your address so please send it to me so I can write you back! As for everyone else who wrote me, thank you! I'm working very hard to write all of you back :) so expect a letter sometime soon!
Well everyone, my time is coming to a close for this week. I need to go get my hair cut soon. It's a rule that you have to get it cut at least 5 days before you leave. So even though I don't need one, I have to get one. Before I leave, I want to share a scripture with all of you. Please go read Mosiah 4:30 and apply it to your lives! It's a great scripture and on top of that, keep reading your scriptures everyday! They will bring you peace and blessings and plus Jesus loves it when you read them, trust me. =) Well my time is up. The timer is flashing. I'm going to send some pictures home soon so hopefully you can see me here and my big smiles! I love you all with all my heart and hopefully when you hear from me next, I will be in Guatemala. =D (and hopefully I'll see Thomas S Monson!)
Love,
Elder Yates

Sunday, June 19, 2011

First P-Day

Hello everyone! Elder Yates here and I hope everyone is doing well! Everything is great here! The MTC is awesome! I love it. I'm actually kind of sad to be leaving in a few weeks. But I'm also so excited to be going to Guatemala. I can't wait. I will take you through the life of a missionary in the MTC.
Wake up at 6:30. If you are late, you may not get a shower. And your (my) Branch President is very strict about waking up at either 6:30 or earlier every morning. It's not that bad once you get used to it. Especially since you go to bed a 10:30 everynight. So then a missionary showers and gets dressed and then heads to their classroom for personal study time. The classroom is a missionary's home. Anything and everything takes place in their classroom. I think they do that so you get the feel of being out all day and only returning to their appartment once the day is over, which is what we do. Anyway. As for my district, we have breakfast at 7:40 everyday. (and if Bethany Cherry, Jack Krainock, or Bronwen Dromey is reading this, they have grits for breakfast!!! mmMMMmmm). Then after breakfast the day is very scattered. Everyday we have an hour for gym which sometimes we go out the field and run laps as a district or play volleyball or soccer. It's a great time and a great way to feel less stressful. Also everyday we have at least one but sometimes 2 classroom blocks. Each block is 3 hours! AHHHHHH!!! But it's great. We haven't had a permemant teacher yet but all the ones that have substituted for us have been fantastic. We speak in spanish the whole time! and everything we do is in spanish! i'm beginning to dream in spanish! i've been told that's a good thing though right? Anyway. The food here is exactly like they say it is: filling. And they have plenty. It is exactly like canon center food actually. exactly. I like it though. I eat a lot because apparently most missionaries going to central america have a tendancy to lose a lot of weight. So fill up now right? hahaha. Sundays were pretty crazy. We have church at 8:00 in the morning and every week, everyone has to write a 5 minute talk in spanish. And they randomly call on people to give their talk. so if you're not ready, you're probably going to get an earful. Thankfully last sunday I didn't have to talk. But who know's about this week. Which reminds me that i need to go write my talk.... Anyway. Today is my first P-day! YAYYY! It has been the best. We went to the temple this morning as a district and it was awesome! I love the temple! It's the best. and the provo temple is so beautiful! And you get to use the computers today to write emails home. BUT you only get 30 minutes. and they are very stricty about that. (in fact, the computer is timing me right now!). And if you're not off after 30 minutes, it closes the program and you don't even get to send your letter. Bummer! Oh well. So after a long day, we go back to our dorms at about 9:00 to 9:30 and get ready for bed. And believe me, by then, a missionary is definitely ready for bed! At 10:15 it's quiet time to pray or read your scriptures or write in your journal. At 10:30, lights out. And they better be out or you'll get in doodoo with the branch president.
As you can see the life of a missionary is very hard, but it's definitely worth it. So my companion. His name is Elder Peterson and he's from Orem. He is very popular because he knows everyone here! haha. He's are great guy though. he is going to honduras, san pedro sula mission. He definitely keeps me in line. He's here for all 9 weeks so he'll unfortunately get a new companion soon. The only problem is he talks in his sleep! AHHH. And a lot of times it's in spanish. It's okay though. It's kind of funny sometimes. As for the other people in my district, 3 are going to Honduras, 3 are going to Osorno Chile, 2 are going to Madrid Spain. And me and another kid are going to Guatemala (different missions though). Well my time is almost up this week. but keep sending letters! They are like gold here! and you can use dearelder.com. That works great. just remember to include your address so i can write you back! :) I have taken some great pictures and I'm going to try to send some back next week. Just know that I love everyone out there and there is no place I'd rather be than right here in the MTC. Before I leave I would love you leave you guys with a scripture I came across. It's John 17 verses 12 to 19. It's the story about the 10 lepers that were healed and then only one came back to thank Jesus. Be sure you're thanking Jesus for everything because everything we have is because of him. So pray often and tell him thanks for your families and everything else your thankful for because I have a testimony that he and Heavenly Father love to hear your prayers and WILL answer them. I love all of you and read your scriptures! :)
Love,
Elder Yates.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

June 11, 2011

Hola Parentals and others, : )

This is your hijo, Mason.  So I learned that my P-day isn't until next Thursday so don't expect an email until then.  I apologize for the long delay but I don't make the schedule.  Anyway, So I am on day 4 here and it seriously feels like month 4.  Everyday feels sooooo(etc.) long!  IT is packed with companionship study, personal study, language study, meals, gym time and a lot of it, a couple times a day.  But everyone says it goes a lot faster after the first week.  So I lied in my last letter.  Elder Miller and I are both going to Guatemala, but he is going to Guatemala City South while Elder Peterson and Elder Williams are going to the same mission in Honduras.  We got these stupid orange stickrs on our nametags because we were new and we finally got to take them off!  Happy Day! I've see a lot of amigos since I got here.  I've seen Elder LeBlanc and Elder Grosebeck.  I've seen some other friends from college.  It's cool but it's weird not being able to call them by their first name.  Or anybody calling me by my first name.  The people in my district are really cool.  Elder Adams is going to Honduras and his companion Elder Dye is going to Chile.  Elder Reich and his companion Elder Ruettinger are both going to Chile as well.  Elder Hardiman and his companion Elder Forrest are both going to Spain.  Very Cool.  In the other district, there are 2 elders going to Guatemala City Central with me, two are going to Spain and the rest are going state side Spanish speaking.  There are so many Spanish speaking missionaries here!  Almost more thatn English speaking.  My entire floor is going Spanish speaking.  It's pretty cool. I see quite a few missionaries going like weird foreign speaking like Ukrainian or Romanian.  It would be cool to learn a language like that but so useless.  I'm glad I'm going Spanish speaking.  The spirit here is very cool! So Many happy Jesus-loving missionaries.  It makes you happy to wake up every morning just to interact with them.  It's nice here but I can't wait to get into the field.  Patience is a virture I guess.  Oh well.  Please tell people to write me! Mail is like gold here.  Nobody has any connection whatsoever with the outside world.  So letters are the best.  Plus the buildings are so tall no one can even see the outside world.  It feels like a prison sort of, and not being able to call and only writing letters doesn't help at all. Or, just get peoples addresses for me so I can write them.  Can you get Aubrey's address for me please?  I need to write her back.  Anyway, I don't think I really need anything. Oh! except a thumbdrive.  Please.  One with a lot of memory.  If I send home an SD card and it gets lost or stolen, I want backups.  So yeah, and the calling card pro favor.  Well time to go do laundry and then back to studying. I love all of you and hope to hear from you soon!
Love,
Elder Yates

P.S.  You can type this on the blog if you want. : ) Just a suggestion.