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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 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 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