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Sunday, March 25, 2012

I just thought I`d let you know....

ITS RAINING RIGHT NOW!!! best day of my life :)

Hi people. Elder Yates here with a word for ya. lluvia. That means rain (in Spanish just in case you forgot what language I`m learning). It's raining right now! And that means I`m a happy little missionary.

So everything is going good here. My comp loves to cook! So on Wednesday, we went over to a members house named Gerson and made sloppy joes.  I felt like I was back in the states. :) pictures attached. That was really awesome.

We are still working with the familia Estrada but there isn't much we can do right now because of her other marriage. But, we are looking down every route and every detail and we have faith that there is something we can do. Just keep praying!  The niño turns 7 on April 7th and I turn XX on April 4th so we are going to have a party with them! I`m so excited! :)

As for Nancy, we are preparing her baptism April 1. She needs to either get married with her boyfriend or move out so that she can keep the commandments.  She understands that she needs to do one of these two things to get baptized, and she really really wants to get baptized. Hopefully she makes a decision so she can get baptized April 1, 2012. I`ll keep ya`ll updated on her progression.

Every change there is a small competition to see what zone has the highest percentage of baptisms and last change we won! So, that means next pday we get to eat lunch with President Brough and just have fun. I'm excited for that. I`ll take lots of pictures.

Other than that, nothing too exciting. I love you all very very much and hope you are doing well. I pray for you everyday and think about you! Kep trucking along and I'l see you all in just less than 15 months. :)

Elder Yates
Making Sloppy Joes
Eating Sloppy Joes

Eating Mangos

Relaxing with Elder Gonzalez

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Good day laddys.

Buen Día Jovenes. How is everybody doing? Super good? Excellent. Everything is going good here. We had changes! Elder Vargas went to the capital! He got out of the heat that lucky dog. But he really didn't want to leave. One change in an area just isn't enough time and I can testify of that (*cough Villa Nueva *cough). But my new companion is Elder Gonzalez. He is from........Dominican Republic. There are 5 Dominicans in this mission and two of them have been my comps. He is good. He has 7 and a half months in the mission. We actually were in the MTC here in Guatemala together. But because I was in the MTC in Provo, I half more time than he does. But it is good. We are getting along good. That pobrecito just came from Patzun in Sololá where it is nothing but cold. They went out at 2 pm in sweaters and scarfs. Needless to say, the coast is a tad bit different for him and he is struggling to get accustomed to the heat. But its good. poco a poco.

So this week was kind of a shock for us. President Brough wants EVERY companionship to baptize someone on April 1 this year. So my comp and I were thinking to baptize the Familia Estrada. They are progressing really well. But she told us that she unfortunately is married to someone already......and he lives in Mexico. Freaking Mexico. So there isn't much we can do because she doesn't know where he is in Mexico. The only thing is that we can fill out a paper that says she doesn't know where her spouse is living and he could possibly be dead. Then we wait a while and then she can get divorced. But the problem is that it could take up to 2 years to wait. Poop. But we are praying and fasting and putting our trust in the Lord that he will help us find another solution. Your prayers would really be great too because they are such a great family.

Also we have been talking to Nancy. I think I've mentioned her a few times but she can't get married because she is only 17 and doesn't have permssion from her mother. But we learned that we only need the signature from one of her parents, not both. And her father is in agreement. So right now we are planning for her to get baptized the 1st of April. We just need that signature! :)

Other than that, nothing is too exciting. Semana Santa is getting close. It is a week celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. In the states, we just have one day: Easter. Here, and I imagine other Latin Countries, celebrate it for a week. A week full of parties and drinking and everything. And just our luck, they celebrate it mostly in the coast. Everyone from the capital and other parts of Guatemala come to celebrate Semana Santa at the beach. So it may get interesting here. But I`ll keep ya`ll updated. I love you all muchismo and can't wait to hear from you! Now I`ll send pictures to show my love! Take care and be safe!!

Elder Yates

Elder Vargas and Elder Yates
Familia Estrada
Familia Melgar
Familia Moncho
Familia Rodriguez
Elder Ortega's Last Day
Elder Gonzalez and Elder Yates

Sunday, March 11, 2012

I think the sun is getting closer‏

because the days are getting hotter!

Hola a todos! Como están ustedes? Super bien espero yo. Everything is going good here, apart from the heat. Puchica, the heat seriously is killer. Everyone says April brings the worst of it.  

But, apart from that, everything is going good. Unfortunately, the time has come again to change the missionaries around. I was sure that Elder Vargas and I were going to stay together but the Lord had other plans for us. Elder Vargas is leaving! and I`m staying here 6 more weeks, at least. I am glad I`m staying but I wish Elder Vargas was staying with me because I'm sure you could tell from our fotos that we get along really well. Although it stinks, that's the mission. Also, this is the last change of my panamainian companion Elder Ortega. He is going home! So that's awesome. I`m so happy for him. But thats changes for ya. Next week I`ll let you know everything that went down. So stay tuned!

So we are teaching a family right now called the Familia Estrada. I can't remember if I've mentioned them. We found them from just a contact I did. He was outside his house making a hammock and I asked if we could pass by another day. We did and the mother had a lot of doubts because she had heard that we worship idols of wood. We quickly cleared up these rumors and she felt a lot more comfortable. They have a son named Benigno. He was born with 2 club feet and his arms are twisted backwards. When we met them, one of his feet was fixed and they were praparing to fix the other. They just got back a couple weeks ago and now he has a giant cast on his whole leg. Oh and he`s 6 by the way. They told us that before we came, the niño was having lots of problems with bad dreams and they said his last surgery was really rough because he reacted weird to the pain pills the doctor gave them.  They were worried about that this time too. But they said since we have been visiting them, everything has been quiet and tranquilo, no bad dreams or anything like that. They told us that they took it as a sign from God that they were being blessed for listening to us and they want to get baptized! The thing is, they've never been to church! That haven't been able to because the niño is unable to go and they don't want to leave him alone. They have a daughter who's 12 whose been attending and she loves it! So we are going to start on getting them married now, so when the niño can move, they can go to church and get baptized. They are great! So stay tuned with them.

That's about it right now in Puerta de Hierro Escuintla Guatemala. Thanks for everything you guys do. I love all of you and hope you got my letters! I'm going to try and write more and send them out soon. Keep being awesome and doing good things and I will see you all in a very quick 15 months!! :)

Elder Mason Yates

Sunday, March 4, 2012

At last....

Wow! This past week has been one of the hardest of my mission but also the most spiritually rewarding. Let me explain:

Yes! We had the marriage and baptism of Arcy but it was far from easy. First, we had the date set for the 26th of Febraury, but we went by on Wednesday to finalize everything. We got their wedding planned and then I asked when she wanted to do her interview for her baptism. She didn't answer. I asked if she still wanted to get baptized. She said yes, but right now, no. She said it would be better to wait a while. In other words, she changed her date and I didn't have a clue as to why. I left the lesson confused and mad and tired and sad and a mixture of emotions because we had been working so hard for her to get baptized this month. Thursday came around and we learned the reason she wanted to wait was becuase she wanted Raul to baptize her. But Raul couldn't baptize her because he was a return missionary that had relations with her before marriage. So he needed to repent first. And that was going to take months. So Friday we planned on going back one more time to try and get her to be baptized on the 26th. We planned on going with the Branch President, but Satan was working extra hard and the branch presidents son (who is 2 months) got sick so he couldn't go with us. So we were flying solo.

So we go and explain that Raul couldn't baptize her and thats why we thought it would be better to get baptized as soon as possible so that they can get sealed in the temple sooner and be blessed sooner. Raul even tried to tell her to do it this Sunday. But she wasn't having any of it. She wanted to wait one week at least. I didn't know what to do. I had prayed. I had fasted. I had worried sick over her so that she could be baptized in Febraury. I was lost. What was I doing wrong? Or was it even me? Was it just not her time? Or was Satan getting a grasp on her? I just didn't know what I could do as a missionary to get her baptized the soonest possible because she was finally living the commandments and had been listening to the missionaries since last July. I was so confused. But I decided to just trust in the Lord that he knew best. That maybe she wasn't going to get baptized this month, but that at least she would get baptized.

The next day was their wedding. It went great. They both looked great and a lot of the branch showed up to support them. Afterward, I was cleaning up a bit and mopping when Arcy came up and told me that she had changed her mind and that she wanted to get baptized on Sunday!!! I was SOOOOO relieved. She had made the right decision. So we ran home and called the district leader and the next day she had her interview and was baptized. And not a day too late.

The Lord has really blessed me this week. I needed this experience to strengthen my faith and love for the Savior. He always listens to our pleas and prayers and blesses us when we have been obedient. I worried all over the place for her and the blessing just wasn't there. But it was. The whole time. The Lord blessed us for our diligence and obedience and for that I am eternally grateful. I love my Savior with all my heart because He loves me with all of his. What a great week.

Other than that, nothing really happened. We went on divisions again but this time I went to Puerto San Jose with Elder Vallejos from Coasta Rica. It was great. Well I'm going to wrap up so I can send pictures. I love all of you with all my heart. Thank you for your prayers and thoughts.

Elder Yates
Elder Vargas, Raul, Arcy, Elder Yates