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Sunday, January 29, 2012

And the time has come once again....

Greetings earthlings. I`m glad you have returned to my blog! or if this is your first time reading this, welcome! :) haha anyway. So I hope you guys are super awesome, hard to believe that January is quickly coming to an end. Crazy! Time just keeps going by! Wow, and now everyone is back in school for their second semester! Que loco!

Well anyways, the time has come again for changes. They are tomorrow. And the verdict is...... I`m leaving!! Nah I`m just kidding. But, it wouldn't have suprised me. Thankfully, I`m staying. My companion on the other hand, IS leaving. :( That makes me sad but such is life. Elder Porter and I got along very well and never disagreed on anything. We worked very hard together and always enjoyed ourselves. It was a great change and I learned a ton from him. He is a great missionary. So we`ll see who they send in his place. He has been in the area I am currently in for 6 months so that Pobrecito is ready to leave. He is sad too, and he has an interview tomorrow morning which means he`ll probably become district leader! :) 

But I`ll let you guys know how that goes NEXT week. There are like 20 nuevos (or newbies) coming in this change so there are going to be a ton of nuevos and tons of trainers. It isn't very common to get nuevos in my zone because its far away from the capital where the nuevos have a lot of meetings. We will be getting 3 nuevos which is alot, usually we get one or none. It'll be cool,  most of them will end up in the capital, which is great because the capital is awesome. I love the capital. I love my area right now too but I would like to eventually return to the capital in the future. 

This week has been kind of a slow week. Not too much has happened. We had a Zone Council just for the Zone of Escuintla and President Brough came to fix a couple minor problems in the Zone and then teach us how to work with the members better. Our zone is the hardest in the mission to work with members because it is so hot that the members are super lazy and don't want to help. But we are going to work on it. In my area, the members think helping means giving the missionaries food, which IS a help, just not the help we are going for. hahaha.  

Rosario and Kevin were confirmed on Sunday! Kevin got the Aaronic Priesthood. They are so awesome. I love them. I wish I could have found them and started teaching them from the beginning but I feel that I did teach them a lot and helped prepare them for their baptism. They are so awesome and their testimonies are SOOOO strong. It is a great testimony to me and they are such an inspiration. 

Well earthlings. That's about it here on this side of heaven. I love all of you a tonnnnnn! I'm going to send letters tomorrow so be on the look out for them! Keep being awesome and doing awesome things and I will do the same here.  I`ll update you next week as to what changes are being made in the mission. BYE!!! 

Elder Yates
a sweet handmade stuffed giraffe I bought in Antigua

Our district, just the four of us and President Brough and his wife

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Una experiencia inolvidable‏

 Hello everyone. SO you`re probably thinking, what is this
unforgettable experience that Elder Yates is talking about? Hold your
horses. I`m getting there. But first I would like to mention a few
other things that happened this week. First, we had the marriage and
baptisms of Kevin and Rosario!!!! IT WENT SO GREAT!! Everything was
perfect. The branch was there to support them and a bunch of the
family of the lovely couple was there too.  It was great.  Kevin
even asked ME to baptize him. It wasn't hard to convince me. :) So, I
gladly did it while Elder Porter baptized Rosario, what a spiritual
experience. There were soooo many people there to support them
which was the best ever!! This happened on Sunday the 15th, so enjoy
those pictures.

Then yesterday, the 16th, we went to Antigua!!! It was so awesome!! I
freaking loved it. It was nice and cool and the climate was super
refreshing and there were so many touristy things there. The best
part was, unlike all the OTHER gringos that were there, I could
bargain with the store owners because I know Spanish! YAY!

Ok so its time. My companion wanted to take me to this place that cuts
and sells pieces of jade,  a very rare, very beautiful, and very
expensive mineral here. I was a little hesitant a first because I
really wasn't that interested. But, he told me he knew a place that
nobody else knew about that was a kind of a hole in the wall sort of
jade place that told the story of jade. They even told some of the ways
jade was used in Ancient Guatemala (and people think it was used in
the Book of Mormon). So, I caved and we went. We were just planning on
looking around, but when we arrived, the lady in the entrance asked us
if we were members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
We said yes. She told us the tour was just starting and we were
welcome to join. We were going to say no, but she was pretty
persistent. So to not offend her, we said alright and followed her to
the back of the building, on the way back, she mentioned that others
from our church were already here starting the tour. We were a bit
confused but just thought maybe a Guatemalan stake was here or maybe
Antigua was doing a youth activity or something. But we go into the
room and see a bunch of people in suits, so we just sit in the back.
Then Elder Porter leans over and tells me that President Falabela of
the Seventy was there. I looked up and sure enough, he was! And
President Amado of the Seventy. How cool! They were taking the tour!
Then one of the workers came up and asked us if we knew that President
Russell M Nelson of the 12 Apostles was there. We looked up, and HE
and also, L. Whitney Clayton of the Presidency of the Seventy was
there too, so were all of their wives. My heart started beating so
fast I couldn't breathe. When the tour guide decided to take the tour
to another room, everyone stood up and they all saw us and were like
¨look real life missionaries!¨ and they all came over to us and meet
us! Their wives too (their wives were SO nice haha). I got to
shake Russell M Nelsons hand and introduce myself! AHHHHHHH!!! It was
the most spiritual experience EVER!!! And so they continued the tour
and the pushy lady from the front insisted that we finished it too! So
we followed these Four Men of God through a tour of this Jade place
and then at the end, Elder Nelson approached Elder Porter and I and
started talking to us! Just like a chat. He told us how lucky we were
to be missionaries here in this beautiful country with beautiful
people and that our best tool is the Book of Mormon. It was so
awesome!! We talked for like and 10 mintues, then we even got a
picture with him! And with Elder Clayton.

Oh my heck, the best 2 days of my life. We went back and told the rest of
our zone and they didn't believe us. Heck, I wouldn't have believed me
either! But we had picture proof and they were soooo jealous. How
lucky were WE????  We went to the exact same Jade place as Elder
Nelson, on the same day, in the same country, at the EXACT TIME!?!
What a blessing, for serious. I am so blessed and thankful for that
experience we had. It was incredible. I promise. Anyway, I was so
excited to share that with you guys. I met and talked to an Apostle of
Jesus Christ. What an amazing experience. One that I will never
forget, and with the baptism of Rosario and Kevin, it made this
weekend probably the best of my life. Wow.

Other than that, nothing TOO exciting happened. So I will just leave
my letter there. How incredible my luck. Just know that Elder Nelson,
Elder Clayton, Elder Falabela, and Elder Amado carried the spirit
soooooo strong with them. They really are men called of God. I can
testify of that. Sooo awesome. I still am in shock. Ok well I love you
all and can't wait to talk to you all next week!!!! Stay awesome!!!

Elder Yates
    A  little visitor in our house. I may (or may not) have screamed when I saw him. I can't be sure.

                                                   Elder Porter, Elder Nelson and Elder Yates

Kevin and Rosario's Baptism

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I don´t think Guatemala makes clouds in the coast.

Because there aren't any, EVER!  Anyway, Greetings! How is everyone doing? Awesome I hope, because you deserve to be awesome. Anyways, so my companions brother is in the MTC right now and his brother was there over Christmas and his teacher gave him this poem and then he shared with Elder Porter and then Elder Porter shared it with me. I thought you might like it mother. It isn't totally applicable but I still like it a lot.
A missionary Christmas - Author Unknown
I skipped the sales after thanksgiving. The thrill just wasn´t there.
No pictures taken with Santa Clause, my decorating has no flair.
His presents are shoes, shirts and ties; a belt and fun.
I´ve bought him all these clothes because.....
This year I´m giving Christ my son.
I´ve spent more time in the temple, my testimony stirred.
I´ve reread Novembers ensign, felt the strength come from His words.
Our family prays more frequently, my tears are quick to run.
Abraham seems closer because,
This year I´m giving Christ my son.
I wonder how those Lamanite Mothers gave their sons to war?
Or how the pioneers chose Zion, their sacrifice was so much more.
My loss will be his presence, I´ll miss his smile a ton.
For two years we will pray for him,
I´m giving Christ my son.
I stare at his face while he´s not looking.
I memorize his eyes, their shine.
He´s always hungered for the part of Him that makes his soul divine.
The stories and lessons he always heard, his choice and mine are one.
I´ll put my faith God´s hands. This year,
I´m giving Christ my son.
I know there´s one who understands the sacrifice I'm making.
Who knows the gift I willingly give, the toll it will be taking.
For He has done it all before - greater love there could be none.
For years ago God gave it to me,
His only begotten Son.
The hands I washed, the hands I held, the hands I taught to pray;
Now knock on doors to find the ones who will listen to what he´ll say.
Because I know Christ needs him, until all the gathering is done.
My gift has taken years to make.
This year......I´m giving Christ my son.
So what do ya think? You like it? I really liked it. It is very powerful poem, so I hope you liked it.
So Nancy this week did NOT get baptized :(((( Her mother did not give the permission to get married and Nancy refused to move out of her house with her boyfriend. It´s so sad!!! I hate that. But its for a reason. We think it was to test the faith and determination of Nancy to see if she would move out and unfortunately she didn't. But I am going to continue to pray for her.
The goal for January is going good. Right now we have 48 baptisms and and ton more dates to get baptized this month. President thinks we will be able to fufill the goal and so this week we had a zone conference and he talked to us about pride. It's true that many of the missionaries are getting kinda prideful. So as a mission we definitely need to work on that. I learned a lot and it was really good.
Not too much else is new here. We are still on schedule to have the baptisms of Kevin and Rosario as well as their wedding this coming Sunday. So pray for them please! They are so awesome though. For realsies. They are great. We just need to get everything ready so all they have to do is show up on Sunday and get married and then get baptized. We wanted them to get married on Saturday but he works everyday and so he can't that day, so Sunday it is. We are here to accomodate. :)
Anyways. So thats about all this week. A huge giant cruise ship just pulled into the port yesterday so there are a ton of gringos here again doing touristy stuff. But its fine. haha. Kinda weird that I'm living in such a huge tourist part of the world, but its kinda cool.
Alrighty, I better go. I have a feeling that next email to you is going to be pretty cool. Just take my word for it. So tune in next week because you won't want to miss what happens. I love you all and I will talk to you soon!!!!! :)
Elder Yates

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Feliz año nuevo!

I am living in a toursity area I found out this week! Tons and tons of gringos passed through my area to go to the beach! My area is super hot and people want to celebrate in the heat! Also this week, there were a couple concerts in my area that many tourists came to. Nothing too big but maybe you guys have heard of LMFAO and Lady Gaga? Idk. But they both came to my area for the New Year. We could actually see part of the concert from the roof of our house. It was pretty cool. But because of that, our area has been super busy. Also Don Omar came who is a big singer in Latin America. I've never heard of him but many of the members here were goo goo crazy about him. So, that was pretty interesting.
As for our investigators, Hermana Juana got baptized this past weekend!! On December 31 she was baptized by her boyfrined Abinadí! Everything went great except that we started an hour and a half late. But thats Chapin (guatemalan) time for ya. But everything went great, and then on the first of January, she was confirmed! It went great too.

As for our other investigators, Nancy is still working hard so she can get baptized too, but the problem is, she still doesn't have permission from her parents to get married. So, we are going to work with her this week and hopefully we can change the mind of her parents so that she can get married and baptized this coming week. We have a lesson with her tonight so we will let you know how that goes.

Our last investigators Kevin and Rosario are still planning on getting married and baptized on the 15th of this month. They are awesome. Rosario is sooooo awesome and is ready for baptism. Kevin is ready too, but he just has a harder time remembering certain gospel things, so that is why my companion and I made the sheets so he can have help remembering. We´re so creative. And yes, we realize that it looks like sister missionaries made them, but whatever it takes to help an investigator right? :)

Thank you for all your support. I love my friends with all my heart. You guys are awesome, seriously, you are. Have a happy new year and make awesome resolutions to better yourselves, that is a reason we have new years (I'm assuming) - to better ourselves! So set those resolutions and do them! Don't be un-awesome, instead, be awesome! :) I love you all and miss you and pray for you everyday. Only 17 months left!

Love, Elder Yates
Juana's Baptism

Study Guides

Branch Christmas Party


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Hace dos dias....

HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!!! I hope everyone had a fantabulous holiday season. I sure did enjoy Christmas here in Guatemala. It was kinda weird though because on Christmas day, it was about 95 degrees. So it was a bit toasty. But everything was super fun! There are a ton of Guatemalan traditions here that are super cool. First, everyone and their dog makes tamales. It's not because everyone loves tamales, because they do, but it's soley because of tradition. Everyone makes tamales because everyone has ALWAYS made tamales. I don't mind because they were delicious, and this thing called panche, it's fruit juice with sugar. Everyone makes it differently, some people put a ton of different fruit in it like grapes (uva), papaya (papaya), coconut (coco), apple (manzana), pear (pera) and some people like it with only a little bit of fruit, and some people like it really hot, and others like it cold with ice. Whichever way its made, its good! I prefer medium amount of fruit and cold, that's good! :)
Another tradition that is Guatemalan is that on the 24th of December, people stay up till midnight, the reason? At midnight, they light of fireworks. Now people. I'm talking EVERYONE does this. EVERYONE. So there is NO WAY a person could sleep. So my companion and I stayed up and then went to the roof our our house to watch it. It's something really cool. And people tell me that its even more intense when the new year comes around. So, I'm excited for that. Then on Christmas, people mostly just sleep all day. Nobody has to work because it's a holiday so they stay up super late the 24th and light off fireworks and drink and hang out with friends. Then on the 25th, they stay in bed all day. my companion and I woke at 6:30 like usual and the streets were empty. It was weird. haha.
So that was my Christmas. I appreciate those dearelders I got and I am still working hard to write everyone back. I send all the letters at once so you may have a letter done but its probably sitting on my desk waiting. Sorry about that, I love all of you sooooooooo much and hope you had a fantabulous Christmas, Hanakkuh, Quanza, or whatever other holiday you celebrate. I hope it was great. :)
As for our investigators, we have one that is going to get baptized this coming weekend. Her name is Juanita. She's awesome. We were also planning another baptism for next weekend as well as a marriage. He's a member named Duglas and he wants to marry his non-member girlfriend Nancy. The problem is, she is 17 so she's underage and has to have her parents permission to get married. Her mother and father were completey for it, and just suddenly, her mother said no. So we are worried about that and need to talk to her mother. I`ll keep you all updated. Pray for them please!!
Keep reading your scriptures and going to church and praying and being awesome. Because being awesome is cool. And I like awesome people. And awesome people do the things I just mentioned, trust me. I know what I'm talking about :) Oh and enjoy the pictures. I take them with you in mind. I love you all and hope you have a awesome new years party! Go have an adventure and don't forget to laugh. :)
Elder Yates
Elder Yates and Spanish Speaking Parrott

Elder Yates at the Beach

Elder Yates at the Beach

Elder Yates & Companion in Christmas Ties