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Friday, April 13, 2012

It`s quieter here.

Thank goodness Semana Santa is over!
Que Tal? How is everyone doing? So yes Semana Santa is over. It was the biggest party I have ever seen. Semana Santa in Guatemala means EVERYONE goes to the beach. It just so happens that my area is the most common place to go in Guatemala. Semana Santa in the states means Spring Break! So there were a TON of young (hot) college students down here ready to party and have a fun time. Needless to say, it was hectic, like beyond hectic. I got to do divisions in Puerto San Jose on Friday and it was so crazy. There were even big concerts here like DJ OZ and Nacho and Chino. But the biggest was Daddy Yankee the Reggeton Singer came over and it was packed. It was in the same place that LMFAO was so we could hear his music too from the house. Thank goodness it is over.

Unfortunately, the week was kinda hard because of Semana Santa so there was like NOBODY in their house this week because everyone had either left or was working. So the week was a bit tough but we were still able to have success here. We are working with a couple families and I`ll keep you guys updated about them as the time goes on. Right now we are working with the niñas of Familia Estrada because they both want to get baptized and the parents want them to get baptized too. So hopefully we will have baptisms soon!! We are also working with the Familia Marroquin. The mother is a member and got baptized recently and so did her children. But her husband is not a member so we are working with them. They are so nice and really great.

Another fun thing that happened this week was that yesterday, we went to Antigua! YAY!!!! I love Antigua! It is gorgeous and it is dripping with cultural history and stories. It's amazing. I bought a couple fun things. I`ll share the pics with you. I really had a great time there and it was kind of nice to get out of the heat for a little bit. We went up to this giant cross that overlooks antigua. We also took pics in front of this giant Catholic Church. It was awesome.

So I also celebrated my birthday last week. In fact, I think I emailed ON my birthday if im not mistaken. Yes its true. Afterwards, we went to eat lunch at a members house (Familia Rodriguez) and they had boughten me a cake. So nice of them. So it was great to celebrate with them.  I can't believe I'm 20 though. Weird. Anyway. I appreciate all your support and everything. I really do. Its also crazy that I completed 10 months this past Sunday. Only 2 more and I'm halfway done. That's crazy. I feel like I just entered the MTC. Ha! That was almost a year ago. Where does the time go?

Anyway. I love you all and pray for you. Keep doing good and being awesome. I can't wait to see each and every one of you. Just a couple months left. Well I love you and I`ll talk to you soooooooon!!!

Elder Yates
Elder Yates and Elder Gonzalez in Antigua

Elder Yates and Elder Gonzalez in Antiqua

Elder Yates on his Birthday


Sunday, April 8, 2012

I feel different today....

Maybe it`s because I`m 20 years old! AHHHHHH the wrinkles are coming! My back hurts! I`m getting crankier! oh.... well not yet. but I`m one year closer and thats what makes me sad.

HEYYYYY EVERYONE!!! I just want to start off and thank each one of you that participated in wishing me a happy birthday. I tell everyone that I have the bestest friends in the world and getting those pics just reaffirmed it. So thanks for being awesome. I love you more than you can fathom, for serious. It was the best birthday present ever. I promise.

This week we baptized Nancy! But it wasn.t in the way we thought we were going to baptize her. So I told you about the miracle that the mother changed her mind and was going to let Nancy get married! Prayers answered! But then Duglas changed his mind and didn't want to get married anymore. But then he changed his mind again! and he DID want to get married...... just in a couple weeks. I have been working with Nancy since I got to this area and I knew that if she didn't get baptized this Sunday, she never would. They would just keep putting it off. So we told them the importnace of doing it this Sunday. They agreed that they would try, but then we called Nancy on Thursday and she told us that she had a HUGE fight with Duglas and had moved out of the house and in to the house of her mother. So we passed by the next day and she said she still wanted to get baptized. What a blessing! Sadly they broke up, but at least now they are living the commandments and can get the blessings they deserve. Things can only get better. So she got baptized on Sunday and it was awesome.

This weekend was general conference! I loved it! I watched it here in Puerta de Hierro in a nice little air conditioned room with the american missionary from Puerto San Jose in English. It was sick. I LOVED the talk by Jeffery R Holland on Saturday about the parabol of the workers. I never thought of that parabol in that way. I also really enjoyed the talk byPresident Uchtdorf about forgiving others. I laughed at that bumper sticker that said don't judge me because I sin differently than you. It's so true! We shouldn't judge anyone because we don't have that right. What was your favorite talk?

Also the choir was pretty cool too! What an awesome experience for them. How neat! I didn't see David Archuleta or anyone else I know, but the other american missionary (Elder Horrocks) saw an ex girlfriend singing. haha. He didn't even know she was serving a mission! What a small world.

On monday we had our Pday! It was great! The niño of the Familia Estrada turns seven on Saturday so my comp and I bought a cake and had a combined birthday celebration. It was so much fun. The niño was sooooo happy and excited. The small things make a HUGE difference in peoples lives. It was so much fun and I was glad I could share that experience with them.

Well everyone. Thank you for everything. I appreciate it. Sorry this email is a day late, but yesterday we had a meeting in Escuintla with President Brough, so today we email. I love everyone sooooo much and I super appreciate the birthday wishes. Just remember, age is just a number and you only act as old as you feel; and I sure don't feel twenty! So forget about maturity! I`m staying young forever! Haha! Love you all and I will see you in a quick 14 months. Take care! :)

Elder Yates
The Birthday Boys

The Birthday Cake

Birthday Boys with Frosting on their noses

Cutting the Birthday Cake

Birthday Banner
Nancy's Baptism

Sunday, April 1, 2012

just in time for the holidays!

Semana Santa and General Conference. What could be better? :)

Suuuupppppp. How is everyone doing? Things are going good here. We had a miracle happen this week! So we have been fasting and praying for a long time that the mother of Nancy would change her mind about letting Nancy get married. And this Sunday at church, Nancy notified us that she did!! The mother told Nancy that it's her decision if she wants to get married and that she supports her. So we went over to their house to plan all the details and someone else changed their mind: Duglas. He wants to wait a little while longer to get married. He says that they are having too many problems right now and that marriage wouldnt solve it. He wants to wait and get these little problems under control before they get married. We explained to him that that is what Satan wants. He doesn't want them to get married because that would solve their problem and then God could help them because they would be living the commandments. He doesnt see it that way and we are running out time to get Nancy baptized the 1 of April.  We are praying that he can change his mind and realize the importance of getting married. Nancy is in complete agreement. But it takes two to get married. So pray for Duglas please!!

In other news, we had Pday with President Brough yesterday. It was fun. We played games and ate food. His whole family came! His wife and daughter and mother and sister. It was cool to meet them. They are really nice. It was a fun Pday. We played a game called mafia and a couple other games. It was a good time and it was fun to get away for a while, especially with president.

We are still working hard with Familia Estrada. Although I may not get to see them baptized while I'm here, I can still enjoy their company. They are such a great family and the niño turns 7 next week so we are going to celebrate his birthday and I´ll be sure to take tons of photos.

Other than that, nothing really is that new. We are just trucking along and doing good. We are working hard and everything, just doing what missionaries do. Its great. And this coming weekend is.................General Conference!! So everyone get ready for that! Its going to be great! I'm so excited! I love you all and hope you are all doing fantabulous! Keep working hard and being awesome!

Elder Yates
Eating Ice Cream

Cleaning his name tag