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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Oh hey palm trees!

wait what? I'm back in the coast!! haha. Oh hey Escuintla. I've missed you.

 So yep. I'm back in Escuintla. Another coast Christmas. haha. But it's great. I actually forgot how much I missed the coast, and it sure is a ton different than Santa Elena (and not just for the weather!). But, I really like it. My new companion is named Elder Acosta and he is from Tampico Mexico and I am going to kill him. haha Just in the mission though. This is his last change so he is going to ''die'' soon and I am going to be his asassain (sp?). He really wants to finish the mission hard so I am going to help him do that. BUT we are in a trio. This past change, about 40 missionaries entered and President Brough didn't have enough areas to put them all. So my OTHER companion is Elder Satini from Tonga. haha. So between us 3, we speak 3 different languages. It's weird being a trio buts its pretty cool. I like it at the same time. But, Elder Satini is just temporary right now because there are a lot of missionaries that are waiting for visas and things like that, so when a spot opens up, he may be the first one out. But we'll have to see. It's going to be a fun change.
We have a lot of investigators here! I forgot about the people in the coast and how easy going they are. They are always like ''yeah! come on in!'' its great and we have quite a few people coming to church so we should be having some baptisms next weekend. I'll keep ya updated on that.

Nothing else too exciting is happening around here. Just trying to get to know the area and the people because I will be getting a new companion next change. I may actaully finish my mission here! How weird, if I do, I will have spent half of my mission in the coast. I guess I'm just a coast missionary! I have always loved the beach....

My Book of Mormon reading is going great! I loved how after Nephi has the vision that he asked to see that his father saw, it says that he came back from ''speaking with the Lord'' and I got thinking, are my prayers a 2 way conversation? We should remember when we pray that it is a conversation between us and the Lord, and not just a one way, us telling the Lord everything, type prayer. We need to talk and listen and respond. In that way, prayer is not only used, but benefitted from. Keep reading your scriptures and let me know of any insights that you have and pick up on! I'd love to hear them!
Well, have a great Christmas everyone. I will be doing the same here in good ol Escuintla. I love you all! Tell someone you love them, give someone a suprise, and pray for someone. Let's think about others this Christmas. Yesterday I had to give a suprise talk and that is what I talked about. Focusing on others during this season when many think about themselves. I promise you'll be happier. :) Until next week! Say your prayers and laugh everyday!
Elder Yates



Sunday, December 23, 2012

time for my son and I to part ways....

Because we have changes tomorrow! And the word is in: I'm leaving!

So yep, after 5 changes in Santa Elena Barillas, I am finally leaving. It's bittersweet. I AM ready to leave but it makes goodbyes THAT much harder, but I'm excited. It's going to be good. Stay tuned for my email next week to find out where im going!

This week has been so busy, but its been great! Tuesday we went down to the Zone Leaders area in Prados and worked there for the day because Wednesday we had to be in the temple SUPER early. So Tuesday was great. We had fun. Then Wednesday we woke up at about 2 in the morning to get ready to go to the temple because we had to be there about 5 in the morning. But the temple was great. I felt rejunevantated espiritualmente. After the temple, we did service. Last year, we cleaned a school for the Christmas activity, this year, we painted the same school. It was lots of fun. After, we ate and played soccer and just hung out and played games. It was a great day. The best was when we got back to area, we went with Familia Valles and Hermano Rodolfo was able to change his papers!!!

So Thursday we woke up and went to Renap in Villa Canales and got all the papers we needed for the wedding of Familia Valles. We sent them later that day and got everything sorted out witht the Lawyer. Then Sunday, WE HAD THEIR WEDDING AND BAPTISM!!!! Everything went great. They were so happy and everything went great. As for the baptism, only the mother Maria and her son Ricardo got baptized. We know that Rodolfo will soon follow. He just said that he didn't feel super ready yet. But he knows that he needs to do it. So that was a great day. Ricardo asked me to baptize him so my companion baptized the Hermana Maria. It was a very busy day but a great day :) Great way to end the change yeah?

So we got word that an Apostol is coming to the mission! I can't remember if I mentioned it in my last letter but D. Todd Christofferson should be here the 17th of Janurary. Stoked!! haha.

So during the christmas activity, Hermana Brough announced that she feels that as a mission, we should read the whole Book of Mormon together before Aprils General Conference. So we started the Book of Mormon this week. I invite you to read it with me!! Try and be done before General Conference in April. It will be fun! I'm excited. I just read about the obedience of Nephi and Laman and Lemuel. Who was more obedient? many say Nephi. But they all 3 were obedient to the commandment to go back and get the plates. Only Nephi had a MUCH better attitude. So how many of us do things were are supposed too, but maybe complain first? Are we like Nephi who say ''oh if its a commandment, I'll do it no problem.'' or are we like Laman and Lemuel who complain first, and THEN do the commandment? something to think about. :)

Welp, that's about it. I hope everyone has an awesome sauce Christmas. Remember the reason we celebrate christmas: to get gifts!! haha. Just kidding. It's to remember Jesus of course. So remember him and spend the holidays nice and safe with your fam bams. Oh and read your scriptures, pray, and laugh everyday!

Elder Yates

Sunday, December 16, 2012

a different week this week‏

that is why we are emailing on Monday this week. President Brough has organized a temple trip/Christmas activity on Wednesday so he changed a few things around.

 Hey everyone! Is everyone gearing up for Christmas?! I hope so. Last year, it was bloody hot for me so it was kinda hard to get in the Christmas spirit. But, here in Santa Elena, its pretty darn cold. So it's a lot easier to feel Christmas in the air :)

So we learned recently that they are going to be changing the amount of time that missionaries have to be in the MTC which has thrown off the schedules of ALL the missions. Some missionaries are now going to be going home earlier while others are going to stay out a little longer. Luckily and sadly, this mission is being pushed back 2 weeks. So as of right now, it looks like I am going to be released the 26th of June and I will be flying home the 27th. It wasn't what was planned but that's the way it is. That means for me, more time to baptize! And it's weird that there are missionaries that left AFTER me that will get home BEFORE me now. Oh well. What can ya do? :)

Speaking of time, I am pretty sure I completed 18 months this past week. Doesn't seem real does it?

This past Friday was Dia Del Diablo. I think I mentioned it the past year. The story goes that there was this family that was having a lot of problems in the family many years ago and someone suggested that they take out all of their trash and burn their ''devils'', so they did and the problem was fixed in the family. So now, everyone takes their trash out, as well as a paper maché devil and they burn it outside their house. It's a literal way to solve a figurative problem. haha. So that was a fun day to see all the burning devils in the streetes of Guatemala.
We went this past week to take out the papers for Familia Valles so they can get married this past weekend and when we took them out, we realized that Rodolfo's last name is spelled wrong! Freaking pruebas. So now he has to go down to Villa Canales and fix it himself. We hope he does it quick because we are running out of time! and if he doesn't do it, he will be known as Rodolfo Valler is whole life. Please pray for them!

Well thats about it here in good ol Guatemala. Everything is hunky dorey and I am happy. It's crazy how fast time is flying. I can't wait to see you all shortly, but I can wait until after the 6 months passes and I baptize a ton more people. Stay sweet. Read your scritpures and pray. Also, read in Alma about Ammon and Aaron, they both came to those lands to be missionaries and what did they both say to the king? I will be thy servant. They came to serve! Yes they came to preach but with the attitude to serve! So mark those scriptures and read'em again. I love you all and I invite you to laugh everyday. :)

Elder Yates

Decorating David's Christmas Tree

Bici Taxi

Our Christmas Decorations

Hermano Juan

Saturday, December 8, 2012

we have a new little friend‏

Her name is Jazz. She is a lost street dog that now follows us 24/7.

Hey friends and family! Well this last week has been good. It has been kinda hard in some things, but we are working hard. On Saturday we went with our ward mission leader to the house of Familia Valles and talked about the following week. We put the day to get married and even the date to get baptized! It was such a spiritual lesson. The mother, Maria, even made the comment that she would walk to Villa Canales if she had to to get baptized. So we left the lesson super excited! But then Sunday, they didn't show up for church. So we called la Maria and she said that they had a problem and didn't want to get into detail over the phone. But that she wasn't going to be able to come to church. But then randomly she showed up to Sunday School. We tried talking to her and she said that she couldn't and that she only came for a little bit but she needed to get home. We had an appointment with them for yesterday. So yesterday we went by, and she asked us to come by today. We are really nervous as to what happened so I ask that you please pray for them. Satan is attacking them hard right now and we want them to get married and baptized the soonest possible. Your prayers mean alot.
As for our little friend, Elder Finch and I saw this poor little street dog fighting for her little life beucase a bunch of other dogs wanted to break the law of chasitity with her. So we felt bad and shooed them off and gave her some chips that we bought and then continued on our way. Well she has been following us since. When we go into a lesson, she waits outside the door. It's kind of cute, and kind of annoying. But her name is Jazz, (I named her) and she is now our little friend. haha.

We saw 2 fights this week. One was between 2 drunk men and the other was between 2 very big street dogs. They were both very exciting to say the least :)
I sadly could not go to see the Christmas fireside. Our branch had a bus that was going to take us to the stake center but the bus left at like 2 in the afternoon because they all went before to do family history so we couldn't go so early. I heard it was beautiful though. Maybe I'll see it in another occasion :)
Welp, welp, thats about all here. Nothing too exciting. But we are going to the temple next week! Well I love you all and I pray for you and I hope that you all have a great week. Stay safe and say your prayers. Also, don't forget to laugh everyday!
Elder Yates

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Today is Wednesday.

I feel like today is Tuesday because that is usually when we do emails!
Heyyy! So this past week has been great. Lots and lots of new updates. haha.

First of all, the Familia Valles all came to church on Sunday! even the father! and I think they all really liked it. We also talked to them about marriage and they decided to get married!! So we put the date of their marriage the 8th of December. We just need to get the lawyer all ready and get their papers all ready, but they are progressing! Pray for them! When we talked to them they said, we want to get married civil first and after by the church! Saweet we told them. That is fine with us. haha, so they are progressing nicely.

Also, on Sunday, our recent convert David invited his sister and her kids to come to church and they all came! It was great! I think they really liked it too. So that was really cool too. The Lord is blessing us! But please keep praying for us and the people here in Santa Elena Barillas.

Today we had interviews with President Brough. They were great. We hadn't had interviews in a long time. President Brough says that I am doing great and that he is proud of me (which obviously made me feel awesome!). He also told me that these last 6 months of my mission is my time to shine. He said that I am going to start to get really tired and that it is common for a missionary to question if they can make it to the end. But he says that it IS possible and that I am going to need lots and lots of help from my Heavenly Father. But he has faith in me. And I have faith too! I WILL NEVER GET TIRED! hahaha. I hope.....
Other than that nothing too interesting is happening. Our area apparently is set in the middle of a wind channel so everyday our area is SUPER blowy. I promise. It's always windy and it's getting colder and colder so that is different. haha. We are now leaving the house almost everday in long sleeve shirts and sweaters. We have to bundle up! and I thought it never got cold in Guatemala.....

Well I am happy, just know that. There is nowhere I would rather be than right here. Thanks for all your support and prayers. I love you all so much and can't wait to see your beautiful faces again. Stay safe and sweet and I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. And don't forget to laugh everyday! I love youuu!!!

Elder Yates

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Happy Turkey Day!

Puchica. It's Thanksgiving already?! The year is almost over!! AHHHH!!!

HEY!! So Happy Thanksgiving everyone! What a great day we have to remember all the many blessings God has given to us - by eating a ton of food! Best holiday ever! Haha. I am so thankful for the opportunity I have to be here in Guatemala serving these people. I am grateful for the blessings I have in my life. I am thankful for my family. I am thankful that God gave me the opportunity to learn spanish. I am grateful for my religion and all that it brings. I am grateful to be an American. I am grateful for everything! Everything is a blessing! How blessed we are. Everything that God has given us is a blessing. We have so many blessings! I invite you to think about all the blessings you have and to thank God for them! All of them you can think of! It will be a rewarding experieence. I promise :)
This past week has been good. To answer your questions, the earthquake didn't really do anything in our area, just shook it up a bit. So there hasn't been any opportunities for service or anything like that. But right now we are teaching a family named Familia Valles. They are really great. The mother, Maria, is very pilas and has already come to church with her kids. For her, God is the most important thing in her life, even though she doesn't even have a religion. she is looking for a stable church that she can attend every week that has great lessons for her children. After going once, she wants to get married to her husband and get baptized. Her husband on the other hand, Rodolfo, is a bit more hesitant. He likes to sort things out and think them through. So our biggest challenge is with him right now. But we have faith that things will go good.
Me and Elder Finch are working extra hard. This change is a week shorter because of Christmas but that doesn't mean we cant have the same success. Congrats on all the mission calls! Missionary work is the best. Everyone in the world should be a missionary because they will learn so much and have an awesome adventure! If its the Lords will, they may even get to learn a new language: a lifelong blessing. Take advantage of the opportunity God has given us to serve him! Missionary work is the most important thing in the church. Just pray and ask God if that is what you should do. I promise you will receive an answer. :)
I love you all so much and hope you have the best Thanksgiving ever! keep Christ in your thoughts and eat a ton of food. And think of me too!! And don't forget to laugh everyday!

Elder Yates
Making Tortillas


District Meeting

Cool Pic

Turkey Hats

Monday, November 19, 2012

¨shakin¨ things up a bit‏

We have changes tomorrow!! and.......I am staying in the area and Elder Finch is too! Another change together!! haha
So I imagine that some of you may have heard that there was an earthquake down here in Guatemala. the truth is..... there was. It was last Wednesday. We had to go to another area in my district called Ribera del Rio. My companion and I were just walking in the street and the all of the sudden we stopped. ¨do you hear that?¨ I asked him. ´´Yeah what is that?¨ he asked. Then we looked down the street and we could see that all the telephone polls were shaking and rocking from side to side and people began running out of their houses. ´´Is this an earthquake?´´ I asked. ´´I think it is!´´ he tells me, and sure enough, it was. We just stayed there in the middle of the street watching the people run around and the telephone polls shaking. The earth didn't shake, it just moved, it was weird and hard to describe. And as quickly as it started, it was done. So, we continued on knocking doors and talking to the people. The last I heard, the death toll was just over 60 with over 100 people missing. But I'm not sure if that number has changed. Every missionary in the mission is great and unharmed. The earthquake hit the hardest in Retahuelu so I'm not sure about the missionaries there. The earthquake measured 7.5. and there was another 6.4 earthquake on Sunday. The earth is restless! Preparing for the end of the world ;)
As for other news, we had the baptism of Blanca on Sunday! and my companion Elder Finch got to baptize her! Everything went great. She was happy and her mother was too. Now everyone in their family is baptized. So that was a great blessing. It was a great service and Elder Finch now has his first convert. Hooray!
As for changes, WE ARE STAYING TOGETHER! but this next change is a week shorter because the Area Presidency wants all the missionaries to go home BEFORE Christmas. So this change ends the 19th of December instead of the 26th. It definitely has its pros and cons. We'll see what happens at the next changes! Tomorrow will be the first change meeting I HAVENT been too. So that'll be kinda weird. haha. As for other changes, I will have a brother in the mission! Elder Lagos is going to train again. I have been an only child for so long that it is going to be weird. And Elder Finch will have an uncle in the mission that has less time than he does haha.

Well that's about it my friends. I forgot to put the picture of me eating the chicken foot in the last email so I will do it today. Thanks for everything and all your support. I love you all so much. right now I am reading in Mosiah 27 about the conversion story of Alma the Younger. I challenge you all to read and ponder it. Read about the love Alma had for his son and read about how after he was converted, he suffered persecutions and afflictions, just like a REAL missionary :) laugh everyday and say your prayers. Have a great week!!
Elder Yates
Chicken Foot
Me eating it.....

Blanca's Baptism

Sunday, November 11, 2012

and the last week...

in this change is here. We have changes next week!! How fast this change went by. en serio.

HEY EVERYONE! wow what a busy week. So, this last Sunday, we had Stake Conference. They are going to make ANOTHER stake here! They are going to split the stakes of Villa Hermosa and Villa Nueva and make the stake El Frutal. and we will be in the new stake! So they came this week to annouce that, and when I say they, I mean Carlos H Amado of the Seventy and ALL the stake presidents and the mission president, President Brough. We had 6 investigators there! It was great! What an awesome day.
Something else that happened during stake conference is that they annouced everyone that would be receiving the Melchesidec (sp?) priesthood! Hermano Jose Luis Hernandez that got baptised in June (when I was with Elder Streeter) got the priesthood as well as Hermano Jorge Argueta!! Hooray! And remember Hermano Jorge Gomez from Villa Nueva? Jorge and Lydia? yeah. HE GOT THE PRIESTHOOD TOO!! Best day of my life, for serious.
What made the day even cooler is that in the night, we went by Hermano Jose Luis Hernandez and I asked him to give me a blessing with his newly acquired priesthood and he did! I love them. What an awesome day. and when you are asking why I needed a blessing, yes I am sick, with a really bad cold, to the point where I lost my voice. But I am doing great now. :) I even contacted the bus today :)

So on Monday, we made papusas! A very El Salvordanian food that is DELISH! They didn't turn out so hot becuase we had never made them before and well, we actually AREN'T in El Salvador. But we had tons of fun and even watched the movie 17 Miracles. Best movie ever. What a fun pday!
This morning we had a zone training, so that was fun. We learned how to contact better. We did lots of practices and learned how to do an effective contact in every place that we are able to contact, in church, at a door, in a tienda, or on a bus. Everywhere we are, we should be contacting! always. This last week, Elder Finch and I did over 400 contacts again, so it's easy to contact and we should ALWAYS be contacting.

And finally today, my companion cut my hair. It actually didn't turn out that bad and it was cheap too! Best comp ever award, oh and at lunch, we ate chicken feet. pictures attached.

Well my friends, that's about it. Everything is going great up here in Santa Elena. I love it. I hope to stay one more change. Please pray for that haha. Have a great week. Start thinking about Thanksgiving! Not for the food, but for the the things we are thankful for! ok and the food too. We sadly don't celebrate it here in Guatemala so everyone is already starting to think about Christmas! So I'm ok with that too. haha. Smile everyday, say your prayers and laugh everyday, and as my grandfather says, don't forget to wear clean underwear. :)

Elder Yates
Elder Yates and Elder McQueen in a bike taxi
Making Papusas
Eating lunch after divisions

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Happy Halloween! year 2.

Happy Halloween ya´ll! Hope everyone is having a spooky time! Me and Elder Finch are for sure. Thanks to our mothers, we have some super scary costumes! I have some pics right now but the rest I´ll send next week. Send me pics of your costumes please! I would love to see them!
On Sunday, David was confirmed and Elder Finch confirmed him! How awesome is that? Something even more awesome is that Sunday was David's birthday! What a great present: the Holy Ghost and on top of that: the priesthood! How pilas, anyways, so on Monday, Elder Finch and I decided to go buy him a cake and celebrate with him. It was so much fun and he was so happy that we were there to celebreate with him. His family was very impressed and even cooked for us, pollo frito con arroz. mmMMmmm. so good. que buena honda. So that was a nice little treat. David is awesome!

A funny story about him, I mentioned a few weeks back that he was doing a lot of stuff that he shouldn't have been doing in the past, before we started teaching him, and he almost died from it. He told us that when he was between life and death, he promised God that he if lived, he would become a Priest in his church. Well he lived and went to go be a Priest for the Catholic Church, but they denied him saying that he was too old. So he left disanimated. But this Sunday, he recieved the priesthood and was confirmed to the office of Priest! haha. Wish came true he said. how cool is that?

So we have been working out with him everyday. We run to his house and do about a half hour of weights and then we run home. So it's been great. I'm getting stronger! or weaker depending on how you look at it because I am ALWAYS sore now haha. But it's a good sore. This week sadly, we won't be able to work out with him beacuse some members invited him to go camping up in Coban this week. So he wont get back until Friday. But oh well. It´ll be good for him to go hang out with some members.
This pday was fun. We went and played kick ball as a zona in Villa Hermosa. It was fun but I got sunburned. Should have thought that one through huh? puchica. oh well. haha. It's good for my complexion right? ....or maybe not.
But this week has been great. Right now we are also working with a girl named Blanca (who I accidentally called Hermanca because I combined her name with hermana and she couldn't stop laughing for like 10 mins. haha oops.) and she wants to get baptized on the 11th of November. Her parents are both memebrs but she studied every Sunday and could never get baptised. But right now they are in vacaciones and she wants to get baptized. So pray for her that everything goes good!
I can't believe this change is almsot over! How crazy. They just keep going faster and faster. Keep up the good work ya´ll and keep an eye out for some letters that I may have sent ;) I love you all so much and pray for you. Behave well and pray everyday. Follow the spirit and laugh everyday.

Elder Yates
David's Baptism

David's Birthday Cake

David's Birthday


Sunday, October 28, 2012

My son has his first convert.

and its David!

 Hey everyone! How are you all doing?! I sure hope you are super good because I am super good. My companion and I have been getting up at 5 every morning to go work out. So I'm tired everyday haha. But, it's a good tired, a satisfied tired.

Speaking of working out, my arms got a work out this week at the baptism of David! He was super unsure last week if he was ready. We told him to just do the interview and if he didn't pass, we would wait, and if he did pass, then he was ready. He agreed and passed the interview! So he got baptized on Sunday. We were also really nervous because his family is really Catholic and we weren't sure how they were going to respond to his decision. But they supported him! They even came to the baptism! After, his dad gave him a really big hug and told him that he's proud of him. Everytime we go visit him now or go to work out with him, his mom always makes us something to drink like mush or atol. Sooooo delish. So that has been a really great blessing for us and for him. His parents are our next assignment :)

Other than that, nothing has really happened. just working hard. We had a lot of meetings last week. It was a great opportunity to contact on the buses. Actually, we got over 400 contacts last week. pilas pues. So that's a cool acheivement. I really hope to be able to stay with Elder Finch one more change because we have been killing it together. But we'll have to see what God says. He may have different plans. But I pray that we can stay together.

Anyways, sorry the letters have kind of come to a stop. I have many of them written, I just haven't sent them yet. But remember that patience is a virture. I'm not really sure specifically what that means because I don't really know what the word virture means, but I interpret it as a good thing :) haha. Remember that I love you and I am proud of you. Missionary work is the most important thing in this world and really, everything else in the church is based on missionary work and bringing the children of God into His fold. Remember to always do your callings with missionary work in mind and you will be blessed. Continue to smile and enjoy life and as my smart, beautiful mother always says, laugh everyday. I have a pretty great mom don't I? :) Have a great week!!
Elder Yates

Sunday, October 21, 2012

a week of meetings....

is a boring week. Ok not really because we have meetings to learn and grow, so actually, meetings are great! Just a lot of traveling.

 Hay everyone! How is everyone doing today? Espero que bien. Things are going great here, except we will be out of our area everyday this week! So, that makes it kinda hard in some things because we won't have as much time to work but, these things ARE necessary. Yesterday we had zone conference and it was great! We talked about receiveing revelation and it was so great. I learned a ton.

As a mission we have some NEW norms that we have put into effect we now have to contact 35 people a day and have 27 lessons a week. BUT we are going to complete them! We have too. It's a commandment for us and commandments bring forth blessings. So, it's going to be fun!

We went to Antigua on Monday! It was so much fun! I got to show Elder Finch around for his first time there. We went and saw some ruins and got our shoes shined and even ate McDonalds, so it was great. I had a blast and I think he did too. We even bought some super cool stuff. So it was a fun day and while we were there, there was an earthquake, nothing too big but you could definitely feel it. haha. Is it weird that the earthquake was kinda fun?

So about David, he came to church last week too! all by himself! I think he really likes it and we are planning his baptism for this Sunday. He says he doesn't feel quite ready but we know that he is and that he will be sooo blessed after. So I hope that he sees the importance of it so that he can make convenets with our Heavenly Father and be blessed! He is still slowly recuperating his health and that is a big blessing that he desires. Also, we have been waking up at 5 every morning to go work out with him. It's been hard but it's been great. I have realized that I'm not as strong as I thought I was haha. But I am going to return home with a much needed (and even more desired) beach bod. Good thing I'm getting home during the summer! haha

Also, the rain has stopped! Now it shouldn't be back until next April or May. So I have some dry seasons coming up. hooray!! That should be a nice change, especially because I am going through umbrellas like pairs of underwear haha.
Well until next week my faithful friends. I just want to leave you with some advice. Be happy. yep. Bob Marley said it best. Just be happy and life will be better. Mine has definitely changed and yours can too! Until next week, I love you and want you to stay classy :)
Elder Yates
Elder Yates and Elder Finch

Just for Mom

Writing Letters!!

Our District

Elder Lagos Elder Finch and Elder Yates

Elder Yates

Saturday, October 13, 2012

I have given birth.....again‏

to little missionary! His name is Elder Finch and he is from Mesa Arizona. He is the best!!

So YES! I'm training! And I have the best son in the whole mission. He contacted the whole bus on the way home from changes! Fijense en eso! The whole bus!! And I contacted my first bus like just a couple months ago. Pilas pues. haha.

So how did you love conference?! I LOVED IT! It was the best! I especially loved the talk from Elder Uchtdorf on Saturday morning. Life is not a race, it's a journey. Live life EVERDAY!! and love it too. His talk was great. I also LOVED the talk from Jeffrey R Holland about being followers of Jesus Christ, what a great conference. I hope that everyone could watch it and enjoy it and could learn something new. A theme of conference was CHANGE. The worlds standards are getting worse and we as members of the church of Jesus Christ must be better than the world! Let me know what your favorite talk was please :)
On other good news, our investigator David was able to go to conference and he also loved it. Hooray! And what do you guys think about the age changes? I think its great! We are going to get sooooo many more missionaries now! Especially sister missionaries, and sisters missionaries, are the best. Take my word for it.
So thank you parents for the new shoes. Now EVERYONE wants to be my friend. :) I'm sooooo stylish ya know ;)
Also, thank you Grandmother for the Halloween stuff. YOU'RE THE BEST: now my desk is super spooky :) thanks Grandma!

As for my friends, well, I am writing letters. They are slow but they are gettin written. (such good english huh? gettin written? ha!) but patience is a virtue. :) I love you and I am so proud of you alllll. BYU is awesome, I love Jimmer, and I'm still a red head, those are just some things that will never change. I love you and challenge you to laugh everyday and always follow that still small voice. Have a great week!
Elder Yates

Friday, October 5, 2012

The result at the end of September...

was 314 baptisms!! and as a zone of Villa Hermosa, we had 64 baptisms!! What a blessing!!!

YES! 314 baptisms. Who would have thought it possible? Oh. WE DID of course! haha. What a blessing from God. Really. We have seen and witnessed enough miracles this month to last a lifetime. The mission record BEFORE President Brough got to the mission was 141 baptisms in the month of Feb of 2011. And now that record is 314. haha! How cool is that? Pretty cool huh? Now President Brough is talking about 350 baptisms and says that he wants to put 400 before his mission ends. I don't think I will be in the mission to see that goal realized, but I will help my junior companions NOW so they have the faith when that time comes. The most important is that our Junior comps always be better than us, that way, we CAN have goals like that and they don't seem impossible.
So this last weekend Jorge was confirmed and even given the priesthood! So in 2 weeks he is going to bless the sacrament! I love that family so much and I will never be able to forget them. And I will be part of their lives forever and ever as well. What a blessing. Like in D&C "how great shall be your joy if you even bring one soul to repentence." I testify that scripture is true.
So right now we are teaching a man named David Lopez. He is a 30 year old single man who loves to work out and used to drink a lot. He even took the discussions many years ago but he drank too much and was never able to get baptized. Well, a couple months ago, he was working out like crazy and drinking a lot and well, almost died. He collapsed and almost didn't wake up. But, he promised God that he would go to church (Catholic church) everyday if he saved him. He was saved and now goes to the catholic church. He LOVES what we are teaching him and has the desire to change. But he is really scared because he believes in the promise that he made to God. So please pray for him. We really want him to go to church on Sunday!
This last Pday, we went on a hike as a district! Behind the area of Villa Canales, there is actually a natural park. So we decided to go and it was sooooo much fun! We saw some beautiful things, some gorgeous sites of Guatemala, and had a great time as a district. It was a great time and it was nice to get out in normal clothes and just have some fun. I'll attach fotos for your viewing pleasure.
So that was my week. Its been raining quite a bit lately. But I bought a new umbrella and its a beast. I think it's a womans umbrella but who cares if it keeps me dry right? haha. The mission is great and you are great too. Thanks for the support. I love each and everyone of you. Have a great week, watch general conference, and laugh everyday.

Elder Yates
Ok yeah no. I think my memory card got a bug. It is not letting me access my pictures. So I am going to try and have a member fix it this week. I still have the extra memory card in the house so I pray that I have good news next week. This may be wrong but please pray that my pictures survive.


Saturday, September 29, 2012

a week of good news!

Hermano Oldrich got his mission call and Jorge got baptized!!

 Soo I know that everyone is dying to know where Hermano Oldrich is going on his mission. Well the secretaries of the mission called me on Tuesday and told me that it had come but that they had given it to the stake president of Villa Nueva. Then the stake president called us a little after and asked if he could open it. Oldrich gave him an excited YES! and he read us the letter. Hermano Oldrich is going to....................Monterray Mexico (west) mission!!!  He leaves on January 9, 2013. He is soooo excited I promise. and I'm excited for him too. He is going to love it. I just know it!

As for other news, Jorge got baptized! It has been such a great experience for him and his family. They are great. He actually wanted to wait a little bit longer but the truth is, he had an interview with President Brough on Saturday and they decided that Sunday would be the best. So Sunday was his baptism. He has been waiting about 8 months to get baptized and finally he could. It's such a blessing for him and for me, the news came at the perfect time. I was so happy for them, I called him and asked who he wanted to baptize him and he just says ''Yates!!" haha. So I had the awesome priveldge of baptizing another child of God.

Those were the biggest events of the week. The rain is slowly diminishing but when it does rain, it still rains HARD, like really hard. But, poco a poco its going away and the cold is coming, especially in the mountain where I am. haha. but really.

So this will be Hermano Oldrich's last week, then he will need to go home and prepare to go off to Mexico. Time is going to fly and he is going to be there in no time at all. He, I feel, has loved his experience here and we have ended up being really great friends. I am glad that my Heavenly Father has allowed us to be comps. I have treasured our time together and have learned a ton. Also, President Brough has already informed me that I will be training....again. haha. But, I'm excited. So next week is cambios (or changes) and I will be recieving a brand new missionary. I'm excited. It's goin to be fun.

Well I love each and every one of you. En guys are great. Anyway, I'm going to send pics now but know that I love you and miss you. Have a great week. Read the scriptures and follow the spirit, and as my mother also says, don't forget to laugh everyday. :)
Elder Yates
The computer is being silly and won't let me send pics. Sorry, you'll have to wait till next week :(


Sunday, September 23, 2012

and the world spins madly on...

a great song and a great phase. It's true. Time has no mercy.

So many of you might have heard that there was a volcano that exploded in Guatemala. Yes it is true. Its called Volcan De Fuego. I could see it, but we were unaffected by it. So no harm, no foul. The explosion though did take place in my mission. I haven't heard anything about the other missionaries if they had to evacuate or anything.

So everything is going great with Hermano Oldrich. We aren't sure if he has gotten his mission call yet because nobody has informed us. But it has been over a month that he sent in his papers so he thinks that its here, plus he had a dream that it came. So we'll have to see. He actually wasn't going to finish out the change with me but I convinced him to stay :) So he will be here until the 3 of October because that is when changes are.  After I will probably get a new comp and teach him the area and then I'm out. Crazy I have about 4 months here already. When I'm done, I'm going to have about 6 months though. haha. The same time that I had in the coast, but I'm happy.

So on to the good news. I think I've mentioned a few times the Familia Argueta. They were all baptized in February excpet for the dad because he had to have an interview with President Brough and then President Brough had to fill out a paper and send it in to the first presidency to see if he could get baptized. We have been waiting for forever for the answer for the first presidency and well, it came! They said YES! So we rushed over to them to tell them the good news and they were so excited, especially because entering the temple as a family is their goal. So we are planning the baptism for Jorge this coming Sunday. Pray for him that everything goes well!

A weird story. So this morning we get on the bus to come down to Villa Canales where we have our district meetings and we sit down and I ask my companion if he's ready to contact the bus. He said no. ''Why not?'' I asked him, and then he points to a lady a few rows in front of us. She was screaming and writhing in pain. Come to find out, she was giving birth......on the bus. Yeah. So the bus driver drove as quickly as humanly possible (and remember that in Guatemala, there are no speed limits) and we got to Villa Canales. She was just in the beginning of labor so she made it to the doctor in time. But hey. Stories for the Grandchildren right? It was almost as bad as the guy a few weeks back who had a seizure on top of me. I ended up holding him in his seat and holding him so he didn't hurt himself until he was done. When he finished, he was all better. The boy scout slogan: Be prepared! hahaha.
Well that's about it from Guatemala. I'm doing great. I'm happy. I'm healthy. And I have the gospel in my life. What else could a 20 year old boy ask for? haha. Pray, smile, and listen to the spirit, and as my mother says, don't forget to laugh everyday. I love you alllllllll!!!

Elder Yates
In front of Volcano De Pacaya

Doing service

Doing service

With some dogs

Eating breakfast

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Love is a battlefield‏

and so is the mission. haha. A Hermana in my district told me to write that. Pero ella tiene razon.....

Hey everyone! So everything is going good here. Hermano Oldrich and I are working hard and hopefully getting ready for some baptisms. Until the Lord has prepared them sufficiently to make convenants with him, we are just going to keep trucking along.
This Monday was PDAY!! and we had the opporunity to go to Zona 1 in the capital. It was so much fun and the best part was, we got to eat Wendys! Beloved frosties. I promise, they were delicious. and I took some sweet pictures which I have generously attached :) enjoy please

So I really feel like my letters are getting shorter and shorter. Maybe it's because I'm getting less interesting. haha.  The weeks are beginning to blur together and I can't even remeber the days anymore. It rains almost everyday and there is ALWAYS fog. I promise. The area is sweet but it always has its problems. We are trying to work hard and keep contacting. I have Hermano Oldrich contacting buses now. He is so great. haha. I love this kid. He is so humble and I learn so much from him. I pray that we can be together for the rest of the change. I am going to try and start living more exciting so my letters get better haha.

Oh and as for Familia Lopez Catalan, well the hermano was listening to the radio one day and the radio host began talking bad about mormons and spreding lies and whatnot and the poor man believed the radio host. We tried to clear up his doubts and everything but he in the end didn't want anything. We had to leave them as investigators. Satan works hard. But God works harder. For that reason, God put US in his way to help him. But he was to hard that he didn't hear nor feel the words of Christ that we were sharing with him.

But other than that, everything is going. Thank you Grandmother for the constant dearelders. Congrats to Travis for getting his mission call. Thanks to all my friends who still write me. You are the bestest friends a redheaded missionary could ask for. You're awesome and God loves you. Remember that you are important to him. I wrote the golden rule last week: treat others the way you want to be treated. But I am going to better that. Treat others the way GOD wants you to treat them. Follow the spirit and laugh everyday. Life is short, don't be to busy to enjoy it. I love you!

Elder Yates
Catholic Church

Guatemalan Palace

Elder Krantz and Elder Yates

Elder Yates and Elder McQueen

Hermano Oldrich and Elder Yates

Hermano Oldrich and Elder Yates

Super foggy morning

Getting our shoes shined

Saturday, September 8, 2012

My little mini missionary‏

is Hermano Oldrich Diegez! And he's great!

So my new comp is great. He is from Villa Nueva so he is really close to his home. He has about a year and a half of being a member and he has such a strong testimony. I promise. I am learning more from him than he is from me! He is the only member in his family and he has such strong desires to serve the Lord. I love being his companion. He sent in his papers for a mission and now is only waiting for his calling to come. Anyday now!!
So this last week has been great. WE had the semana perfecta, or perfect week! Every companionship had to have 10 new investigators, 20 lessons, and at least 25 contacts a day. Even though I had a mid week change of comps, we still did it in Santa Elena! We had 24 lessons, 236 contacts in the week, and 23 new investigators. So it was a great week. I was really stressed about it with the whole change comps in the middle but the Lord certainly blessed me. We found a really great family this last week that seems great. I'll keep you updated on them.

As for Familia Lopez Catalan, the Hermano has come to church twice now and has really liked it. The mother is Evangelica and I think is really scared to change her religion. Even though she told us that she feels somehting different everytime we come over and teach them. But we have our hopes high and I am praying to make serious progress with them this week.
Thanks for all your support and prayers. I feel them blessing me and the area every day. Today in district meeting we studied 1 Nephi 17. Everyone should read it and meditate on Nephi's attitude. What a great example Nephi is. If I could be like him.....

I love you all so much and pray for you. Laugh everyday and treat everyone how you want to be treated. It's the golden rule you know :) Stay strong and be pioneers of the truth!
Elder Yates

Elder Pantle and Elder Yates
Elder Pantle and Elder Yates

Elder Yates looking at Lake lake Amatitlan

Elder Yates and Hermano Oldrich