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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Where did July go?

I could have sworn that it JUST started!

HEY! I hope everyone is doing super dandy. This week has been kind of rough to be honest. But I have grown alot as a missionary and I am seeing the hand of God everyday in the little things, what a blessing.
We have had a ton of contacts lined up this past week of people that told us that we could go by and teach. Almost ALL of them fell through. and on top of that, this past Sunday was an ALL day thunderstorm from the second we left the house to the second I laid down to sleep. The streets flooded and I got soaked and NOBODY would let us in the house. It was rough, believe me, but worth it. My comp and I are sure it was a test of faith and our faith was UNshaken! The Church is true! :)
We were also planning on having the baptism of Marta this past week but she STILL hasn't given up smoking. I can't even imagine an addiction so strong. She is really battling this and we are here to help her every step of the way. She is great though. She is even inviting her friends to listen to us now and asks us to visit everyone she knows! So she has been a real blessing. Once she can leave cigarettes for good, she is golden!

This sunday we are planning a baptism for a man named Furjencio. He is a humble sweet man that knows the church is true and wants to get baptized. We have been having problems though with WHEN. We have talked a lot and finally put the date for this coming weekend because the goal for the month is 204 baptisms as a mission and we are ALMOST there! Just a few more and we have made the goal.
Everything is going great here. I am learning more everyday and loving everything here more and more. I am almost 100% Guatemalteco and I have no shame in that :) The Guatamalans are a great people and I have been so blessed to serve them. I love them forever and ever. This opportunity is the best ever. Thankfully I still have quite a bit of time left to serve, work hard, and baptize! I love you all very much and I appreciate the support. Please keep it up! I love you all and I am thankful you are my friends. I will see you all sooooon!!!!
Elder Yates

Elder Yates and the fog

Elder Yates and Furjencio

Eating as a district

Making Valiadas

Making Tortillas

Elder Yates and Elder Owens

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Mi novena compañero. (My 9th comp)

Is Elder Sanchez! He is a Nica, which means he is from Nicaragua. And he only has a couple months in the mission!

So yep, my comp is Elder Sanchez. He seems great. He loves to joke around and work hard so we of course get a long great! :) This is his second area and he was in Escuintla before, so he is dying of cold here like I was haha. He has 6 months. SO YOUNG! haha
So this week a cool expereince happened. We have an investigator named Marta. She is a little old lady that has a hard time walking and she is very poor. But she has a very strong testimony and LOVES coming to church. We had her baptismal date for the 22nd of this month but she hasn't given up smoking yet so that is making it hard. She wants to, but she just has a hard time doing it. But anyway, on Wednesday, she got in a fight with her daughter. She left the house devasted and sad and angry and just wanting to leave and never come back. She was slowly making her way down the street and saw a bus coming and had the thought ''if I step in front of the bus right now, I can end everything.'' but (according to her) a little voice told her no, don't do it. She just watch the bus pass until it came to a stop. In her own words, she saw 2 angels get off the bus and walk away. Little did she know, WE were on that bus coming back from change meeting. WE had actually reached our stop and began getting off before, were we usually did, but a member on the bus told us to stay on because we were going to pass closer to our house. So we stayed on the bus and got off at the NEXT stop and that is when Hermana Marta saw us, but we didn't see her. After, she decided to go sit in front of the church and we ended up passing her on the way to go eat lunch. We talked to her then and that is when she told us that experience. We were kind of in shock at the story and were so grateful for first, listening to the member and getting off at the second stop, and second, for the Holy Ghost telling her to not step in front of the bus. It's an amazing thing. We told her that were going to pass by later that day and when we went by, she told us that after talking in front of the church she went back to the house and laid down and clearly heard a voice ''keep going, keep going, don't faint, keep going.'' God really worked with her that day and she felt SO much better after those experiences. She came to church on Sunday and was as happy as a pig in mud. I love small miracles!
So right now, we are just working hard. Not too much has happened. We are just working hard and doing what missionaries do. We actually received a reference from temple square this last week and contacted a really positive guy that had visited Utah. I'll let you know how that goes. OH! and Elder streeter got sent to Sololá, that lucky boy. Those are the straight mountains. I want to go so badddddddd!!!! Maybe next change? :) My hopes are high. I am loving Guatemala and loving the mission. Everything is hunkey dorey. :) I love everyone and Bronwen, thank you for the package! I loved the gum;) hahaha. Take care, listen to the spirit and laugh everyday! :)
Elder Yates
Elder Streeter's Birthday

Elder Yates eating a gummie anaconda

Pretty Picture

Pretty Picture

Lake Amatitlan

District Lunch

District Meeting

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Another change gone byyyyyyyyyyyyyy‏

They seem to be going faster and faster.

CHANGES ARE TOMORROW! I am staying in my area. But my poor comp is leaving. He really doesn't want to leave beacuse it is his first area and you all remember how I was when I had to leave Ciudad Real. Yeah. He's the same way. But, God has other things in store for him. So, he is off to bigger and better things. I will be staying here and be receiving a new comp. any guesses as to if it is a latino or a gringo? solo Dios sabe. We'll have to see. I'm fine with whichever.
SO this past week was good. Yesterday we went down to Villa Canales and had a little churasco, or a bbq. :) We played soccer and ate some steak that the cocinera of the elderes in Villa Canales made, it was so goooooooooodd!!! :) What a fun day.

So we also, had another lesson with hermana Marta. She is doing great. She wants to change so bad! She has already given up alcohol and she gave us her cigarettes on Saturday. We  asked if she wanted a blessing and she said yes. We gave her a blessing and then on Sunday when she came to church she said that she somtimes has the urge to smoke and then she thinks of Jesus Christ or the church or the Book of Mormon and the urge goes away. :D How awesome is that right? We asked her about the Book of Mormon and she told us, '' it is SOOO true! '' We have her fecha set for the 22nd of this month.
We also began working in some new parts of our area. Our area is ginormous and that makes it hard. But, the members are willing to drive to the ends of the earth to bring some of these people to church. so that is a great help. What isn't a big help is that many of the people from other demonitations think they know the Mormon religion better than us because they have been telling our investigators things that aren't true and then WE have to go back and clear everything up. It is such a pain in the neck, but nobody ever said that missionary work was easy. They just said it would be worth it. :)
I love being a missionary! I am seeing blessings everyday and they are great. Some people are just ready for the gospel are just falling into our laps. It's great, but it definitely isn't ALWAYS like this. The hard times are hard and the good times are great. Being a missionary has changed my view of everything and has definitely changed my life. It is the best decision I have ever made and I hope that EVERYONE thinking of going on a mission reads this and decides to go. IT will be the best experience ever. Promise.
Also, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to my parents! 25 years of being together is nothing! Just a fourth of a century ;) They are even a cuter couple now than when they got married! (my opinion) so if you see them or talk to them, wish them Happy Anniversary!

Also, Happy Happy Birthday to Ally Jones! Love youuuuuuuuuuuuu!!!!
Stay safe everyone. And I will see you in just over 10 months. It's gong fast isn.t it? Don't blink! :)
Elder Yates

Sunday, July 8, 2012

It's amazing how the Lord works.

I have just been thinking a lot about that the past week. Whenever we ask for something (patience, knowledge, strength etc), God doesn't just give it to us; he always gives a way for us to develop it OURSELVES! What a blessing. :)

Greetings Earthlings! I hope everyone had a fantastic week! I love you!
So we went to Antigua! I am starting to feel older in the mission because about three fourths of the missionaries that went to Antigua had never been before. So they looked to missionaries like me to know where to go. I am getting older in the mission! But it was so much fun. It must definitely be summer in the states because there were a TON of gringos there on summer break. I am actually starting to feel weird around gringos now. Is that weird? I promise I will still be your friend when I get home though ;) or I will at least try. The way up to antigua was great but the stupid bus broke down and we lost an hour waiting in a gas station.  But we talked and I got to meet new missionaries and see how it is going in their areas, so that was a fun experience. Then we finally got there :) Well worth the experience. I bought postcards that I am going to send to some of you and a tie made out of typical cloth here. I will be sure and send pics. Plus Elder Streeter loved it.

This past week has been good. We have worked hard and found more people to teach. It is going great and I can't believe in a week we have changes again. We´ll have to see what God has in store for us because I definitely know that he is getting ready for September and needs to make a few changes. I trust God and the changes he will make so I will let you know what happens. :)
We had many lessons lined up this past week but many of them fell. It is frustrating but I always pray to my Heavenly Father to give me more patience. Why doesn't he just give it to me?! haha. These experiences are really trying my patience haha.
Well this past week has been pretty quite so enjoy the fotos and I'll update ya'll next week. Love you lots and a big shout out to Sister Butler from Ohio! Thank you for the letter! It put a smile on my face. I talked to your son before he left for the coast and told him that he is going to love it and Elder Loayza is a GREAT missionary. He is SUPER patient and I'm sure he is loving his time there.
Love you all!
Elder Yates
Bus Ride to Antigua

Arch in Antigua

Elder Owens, Elder Stoker and Elder Yates





Sunday, July 1, 2012

Another day, another thunderstorm.

They are coming like crazy right now! I promise.

So yes. Other than that, things are going great. There was a thunderstorm last night and the lightning was literally above our heads. I may have screamed like a little girl (again). Ha! But experiences right? ahaha.
So this week has been great. Unlike the week before, we didn't have 3873518451 meetings so the week was pretty normal. It was nice and tranquila. We have a new investigator named Marta. She is a little old lady and frail one at that. But she is a ball of energy and has read the Book of Mormon and pretty much had a testimony when we met her. I just contacted her in the street and she went off talking about Joseph Smith and Moroni. She is great and she even came to church last week and LOVED it. She has a hard time walking so we picked her up in one of the members cars and she just felt the spirit so strong. It was great.
Also, we went to visit her one day and her neighbor saw us arrive at her house and asked if could also pass by hers. Her neighbor is Trinidad Jesus de Paz. Cool name huh? haha. But she had the missionaries over a lot a long time ago but then moved and they stopped coming. Then about 6 months ago, her husband passed away and when she saw us passing by Hermana Marta's house, she asked us to pass by hers too. She also came to church! She came with her 17 year old son. Her son is great and is a great testimony to me because he is deaf and can't hear the discussions but he is always in the room when we teach and has the desire to go to church. They are awesome and are hoping they get baptized in July.
I also had the opportunity to go on divisions this last with the Zone Leaders. I went with Elder Morgan from Sacramento while Elder Hansen from Utah came to my area with Elder Streeter. It was great. Elder Morgan goes home at the end of this change so it was cool to work with him and learn from him before he goes. They are both great missionaries.
Next week we are going to Antigua! Hooray! It is going to be so much fun and will be Elder Streeters first time! He is going to love it. I'm excited to go and I'll be sure to take muchas fotos. :)
Things with Elder Streeter are going good too. It is great to talk to him in English but he really needs to work on his Spanish so I speak to him mostly in Spanish. (or at least I try too, sometimes I forget). His Spanish is coming along great and he is learning really fast. It is soooo different being with a gringo again. I like it but it's weird. Let's see who my new comp will be when I get one......
Well that's about it from this side. I love you all sooo very much and miss you everyday. But not enough to come home. Not yet at least.  I love you all and pray for you everyday. Keep being safe and doing great things. I'm going to send a couple of you letters so be on the look out! Stay safe. Stay sweet. Stay classy. and Stay worthy.
Elder Mason Yates