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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Rise and Shout‏

The cougars are out! And now there is one more cougar in the neighborhood! Congrats Ryan!! :)

Good day everyone. Hope everyone is doing fantastical. So this week was kind of a quiet week but many great things happened. Let me explain.
First, Arcy wanted to change her baptism and marriage date to the 3rd and 4th of March. My companion and I felt like that was too far away. It leaves Satan wayyyy to much time to try and get in their lives and create trouble. So we brought the president of the branch with us and told him our dilemma. I was afraid that if I tried to talk them out of it they might not listen because we are young missionaries that don't know anything. So I figured if we brought maybe somebody with a little bit of authority, they may listen. And listen they did. The President of the branch suggested that they change the date to the 25th and 26th of this month, OR this coming weekend! So we are planning a baptism for this weekend! It should be great. I'm so excited and I am praying that everything goes well.
So on Saturday we had a great experience. Almost all of our lessons were falling through. We would show up and they wouldn't be home. We even went to one guys house and he told us that he didn't have time because his work just called him and told him that he had to come in so he had to leave, 5 minutes later we saw him at a bar with his homies drinking a beer. So we were pretty disanimated that nobody wanted to hear us. We contacted a lot and weren't having much luck. Except one lady who invited us in to try and convince us how wrong we were about our religion. So I was pretty frustrated that we were doing the things we were supposed to be doing and we weren't having any success. But we kept knocking, and knocking, and knocking. Then we knocked one house and they invited us right in. They are the familia Valonsuela. They don't go to a church right now. They have talked to the missionaries before, they have even attended church before and really liked it! WE invited themto come with us Sunday to our district conference (its like stake conference, but for branches) and the mother came! The dad was supposed to come but had to stay and guard the house because apparently their neighbors like to steal things when they leave. But I learned a great lesson that day. They Lord always knows what we are going through and LOVES to bless us, but only through a couple trials first. He likes to test our faith and then reward us. And a reward we received with this family. They are great. I´ll keep you guys updated about them.
As for District conference, it went great! President Amado of the Seventy came and talked as well as our Mission President and his wife. They all spoke great. President Amado spoke about spiritual experiences and how they are everywhere, we just have to stop and see them. Many times these experiences are right in front of us and we don't even notice them. But the Lord touches our lives everyday and sometimes we don't even pay attention. I know I´m guilty of this. But, that is the love He has for us. Even when we don't notice the things He does for us, He still continues to do them. It's great. I love this gospel.
Well friends and family, that's about it. Another week over. One week less till I can hug all of you :) Keep being awesome. Enjoy the snow. Save some for me because it is HOT here. Like really hot. I love you all and pray for you all the time. I LOVE YOUUUUUU!!!!
Elder Yates

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Today is the day of love....

Buenas tardes amigos! How is everyone? Well everything is hunkey dorey here. We are just working hard in the heat. It is definitely getting hotter here! Oh well, it makes lemonade taste that much better! :)

Everything is going well. Arcy was scheduled to get married and baptized this coming weekend but sadly, she wants to wait till the 3rd of March so she has more time to prepare everything. We told her to not worry about it, that we could do everything but she insisted and so we had to respect her wishes. It sucks though. We should still have a baptism coming up soon! :) and baptisms make me super happy!! Hooray!!!

We also have a new family attending church! They are the familia Manzia. They are SUPER UPER DOOPER poor. But they are very humble and willing to learn. The problem is though they are very slow learners because neither of them went to school, so they don't know how to read. On top of that, they have 5 kids, the oldest is 9 and the youngest is 5 months.  They seem really willing to learn. Because of their poorness, they aren't married and they don't have any money to spend on that. So we are working with them right now to see if their willingness to go to church and learn is because they want to progress in the gospel, or because they get benefited. This sadly, has happened to many missionaries that I know, so we just need to be careful and follow the spirit.

We had interviews that past week. I told President Brough a lot of my doubts and stuff and told me to not worry about it. He said that I was doing just fine. That I had a lot of responsibilities very early on in my mission and that I have every right to feel overwhelmed. But, he also told me that there was a reason the Lord called me to those positions in this area at this time with this companion: because the Lord knows I can do it. I know he´s right. I can do it. So I felt a lot better afterwards and just put myself right back to work. Interviews always make me feel better.

Also this week I went on divisiones with the District Leader. His name is Elder Horrocks from Utah. He has about 15 months in the mission. He came over to my area and we kicked it hardcore gringo style. It was fun, I learned a lot.  I even learned a tiny bit of Tzutuil. Its a language that he learned when he was in the mountains serving. There is only one area in our mission that doesn't speak Spanish and he went there and was there for about 8 months. So he learned this language called Tzutuil. So cool! I want to go there now! hahaha.

Also, something else funny that happened this week is that Elder Vargas and I bought ice cream one day and I spilled some on my tie and he called me a puro niƱo. or a child. hahahaha. I laugh because its 100% true. :)

Well that's about it. Thank you for everything. I sent a bunch more letters so be on the look out for them! I love you all very much and I´ll see all of you in just over 15 months! :) LOVE YOU!!! oh and HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!!

Elder Yates

Elder Yates and Elder Vargas in their Valentine Day Ties
Elder Yates and Chick
Little Girl and Chick


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Logramos la meta!

Hey everyone! How are ya`ll doin? Super buenisimo I hope. I am doing super buenisimo, because we reached the goal! We got 227 baptisms in the month of January. How cool is that? and now I am just working hard AS SENIOR COMPANION. Wow, I didn't realize the responsibilities being senior companion carries, but it`s good. It really is testing my faith as a missionary. I feel like as long as I give my 100% then the Lord is pleased with my work. He doesn't expect much of us, just our best. And my best I can definitely give. I have learned that the Lord knows that we aren't perfect. I am FAR from a perfect missionary, little lone a perfect person. But, the Lord just wants us to give our all, even if our all isn't that much, it`s still our all. Like the parable of the woman who paid her tithing with only a couple pence while everyone else was paying with like thousands of dollars. Sometimes I feel like that woman. All the other missionaries around me are having tons of notable success while I`m just giving my own little all. Even though it is much, it`s my all and I know thats everything the Lord wants. Even though its probably not like that, at times its how I feel. I'm sure the other missionaries feel the same way but thats the life of a missionary. And everything is good :)

Other good things that happened this week is that we challenged Arcy to get married and baptized in 2 weeks! She is living with her member boyfriend and wants to get married. She has a strong testimony and everything but just hasn't been able to get married. Her boyfriend, Raul, thought he had to  travel to Mexico to take out a paper to get married. but the abogado doesn't need that paper! So she went to take out her DPI, or register as a citizen in other words and we are just waiting on this paper. Well, we learned that she can go get a temporary paper to get married before her DPI comes because they usually take months to arrive. So we planned her marriage for the 18th of this month and her baptism for the 19th. So pray for her! She has been taking the discussions for a long time but never progressed because they thought they needed this paper from Mexico. But they don't! What a blessing!

Many of the other families that we are teaching are progressing too. Which is good. President Brough has really focused on the importance of contacting. Always. My area isn't really a contact friendly area because the houses are super spread out and there aren't a ton of people walking the streets. But, we have gone out of our way to find people to teach and the Lord has seen our diligence and is blessing us with these people. It has been a really big testimony builder to me. Its been great. Now we just need them to go to church!

In other news, its getting hotter here and people say that its only going to get hotter. yipee yipee joy joy. Oh well. It's all good. I like my area, the people are great. Anyway, that's about it here from my side of things. I love you all so much and I appreciate your support. Especially Kennedy Koenig for your Christmas package. It was wonderful. I love it. Especially the Christmas Tree Reeses. Delish! Thank you very much. It was so thoughtful.

Well everyone. Enjoy the pictures. Especially with the iguana. It made me miss my snake so much I almost kissed it. Then I came to my senses and realized I almost kissed a wild iguana in Guatemala. Still, stories right? :) and enjoy the one of me and Elder Vargas. We are ebony and ivory, day and night. People see us and say ``mira! Un Blancito y un Negrito!`` thats right! haha. Well I love you all more than you know. Thank you for your support. I appreciate it. And I`ll talk to you next week!

Elder Yates
Elder Yates and Elder Vargas
Elder Yates and Coconut
Elder Yates drinking Coconut Milk
Elder Yates and iguana
Elder Yates and iguana


Sunday, February 5, 2012

ebony and ivory‏

Pues, hola! Como les va? Super bien espero yo. Everything is going good here. So we had changes! And I got a new companion! His name is Elder Vargas and he is from the Dominican Republic. So, back to speaking Spanish ALL the time again haha. It's ok though. Spanish is like my second language now. If you know anything about Dominicans it's that they are very difficult to understand, VERY difficult. They speak super fast and drop a lot of letters when they speak. It`s just how they are raised. The first time I met him, he asked me a question and I was like ``huh?``, slowly but surely I am getting used to it. Many of the people here don't understand him either, just because he talks so different. But it's good. He has 5 months in the mission. Now I know what you're thinking. ``Hey, but Elder Yates, you have more time than that.`` Yes it`s true. It`s because I have been bumped up to Senior Comp! Eeeeek!! Already I`m senior companion! Most people don't go up till they hit the year mark! And I only have 8 months! Oh well. I know the Lord knows I`m ready even if I don't think I`m ready and I trust the Lord more than I trust myself. Thats how it`s supposed to be. :) The reason this email is titled ebony and ivory is because I`m ivory, and my companion is ebony! Elder vargas is black so I`m sure it looks kinda weird seeing us two walk around together. We get along fine and are here to do work! haha. We haven't taken any pictures yet so I`ll send some next week!
As for Elder Porter, he got sent to Amatitlan. Its in between the coast and the capital, poor thing is going to freeze to death haha. My companion right now is dying though haha. He says he is in puro infierno, or pure hell. haha. I was the same way when I got here though. He`ll get used to it fast though.
This past week, I just introduced the area to my companion. He has gotten to know the members and recent converts and some of the investigators. We have also found 2 families that seem pretty positive so I`ll keep you guys updated with them.
Well thats about it from my end of things. Just changes were the only thing that really happened this week. Well friends and family. I love you all! I hope the best for all of you and I pray for you everyday! Keep doing the things you`re supposed to be doing and I will too down here. Keep safe, and as my grandfather (and grandmother) says, always say your prayers and wear clean underwear. They are the best. :) LOVE YOU!
Elder Yates