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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Oh hey palm trees!

wait what? I'm back in the coast!! haha. Oh hey Escuintla. I've missed you.

 So yep. I'm back in Escuintla. Another coast Christmas. haha. But it's great. I actually forgot how much I missed the coast, and it sure is a ton different than Santa Elena (and not just for the weather!). But, I really like it. My new companion is named Elder Acosta and he is from Tampico Mexico and I am going to kill him. haha Just in the mission though. This is his last change so he is going to ''die'' soon and I am going to be his asassain (sp?). He really wants to finish the mission hard so I am going to help him do that. BUT we are in a trio. This past change, about 40 missionaries entered and President Brough didn't have enough areas to put them all. So my OTHER companion is Elder Satini from Tonga. haha. So between us 3, we speak 3 different languages. It's weird being a trio buts its pretty cool. I like it at the same time. But, Elder Satini is just temporary right now because there are a lot of missionaries that are waiting for visas and things like that, so when a spot opens up, he may be the first one out. But we'll have to see. It's going to be a fun change.
We have a lot of investigators here! I forgot about the people in the coast and how easy going they are. They are always like ''yeah! come on in!'' its great and we have quite a few people coming to church so we should be having some baptisms next weekend. I'll keep ya updated on that.

Nothing else too exciting is happening around here. Just trying to get to know the area and the people because I will be getting a new companion next change. I may actaully finish my mission here! How weird, if I do, I will have spent half of my mission in the coast. I guess I'm just a coast missionary! I have always loved the beach....

My Book of Mormon reading is going great! I loved how after Nephi has the vision that he asked to see that his father saw, it says that he came back from ''speaking with the Lord'' and I got thinking, are my prayers a 2 way conversation? We should remember when we pray that it is a conversation between us and the Lord, and not just a one way, us telling the Lord everything, type prayer. We need to talk and listen and respond. In that way, prayer is not only used, but benefitted from. Keep reading your scriptures and let me know of any insights that you have and pick up on! I'd love to hear them!
Well, have a great Christmas everyone. I will be doing the same here in good ol Escuintla. I love you all! Tell someone you love them, give someone a suprise, and pray for someone. Let's think about others this Christmas. Yesterday I had to give a suprise talk and that is what I talked about. Focusing on others during this season when many think about themselves. I promise you'll be happier. :) Until next week! Say your prayers and laugh everyday!
Elder Yates



Sunday, December 23, 2012

time for my son and I to part ways....

Because we have changes tomorrow! And the word is in: I'm leaving!

So yep, after 5 changes in Santa Elena Barillas, I am finally leaving. It's bittersweet. I AM ready to leave but it makes goodbyes THAT much harder, but I'm excited. It's going to be good. Stay tuned for my email next week to find out where im going!

This week has been so busy, but its been great! Tuesday we went down to the Zone Leaders area in Prados and worked there for the day because Wednesday we had to be in the temple SUPER early. So Tuesday was great. We had fun. Then Wednesday we woke up at about 2 in the morning to get ready to go to the temple because we had to be there about 5 in the morning. But the temple was great. I felt rejunevantated espiritualmente. After the temple, we did service. Last year, we cleaned a school for the Christmas activity, this year, we painted the same school. It was lots of fun. After, we ate and played soccer and just hung out and played games. It was a great day. The best was when we got back to area, we went with Familia Valles and Hermano Rodolfo was able to change his papers!!!

So Thursday we woke up and went to Renap in Villa Canales and got all the papers we needed for the wedding of Familia Valles. We sent them later that day and got everything sorted out witht the Lawyer. Then Sunday, WE HAD THEIR WEDDING AND BAPTISM!!!! Everything went great. They were so happy and everything went great. As for the baptism, only the mother Maria and her son Ricardo got baptized. We know that Rodolfo will soon follow. He just said that he didn't feel super ready yet. But he knows that he needs to do it. So that was a great day. Ricardo asked me to baptize him so my companion baptized the Hermana Maria. It was a very busy day but a great day :) Great way to end the change yeah?

So we got word that an Apostol is coming to the mission! I can't remember if I mentioned it in my last letter but D. Todd Christofferson should be here the 17th of Janurary. Stoked!! haha.

So during the christmas activity, Hermana Brough announced that she feels that as a mission, we should read the whole Book of Mormon together before Aprils General Conference. So we started the Book of Mormon this week. I invite you to read it with me!! Try and be done before General Conference in April. It will be fun! I'm excited. I just read about the obedience of Nephi and Laman and Lemuel. Who was more obedient? many say Nephi. But they all 3 were obedient to the commandment to go back and get the plates. Only Nephi had a MUCH better attitude. So how many of us do things were are supposed too, but maybe complain first? Are we like Nephi who say ''oh if its a commandment, I'll do it no problem.'' or are we like Laman and Lemuel who complain first, and THEN do the commandment? something to think about. :)

Welp, that's about it. I hope everyone has an awesome sauce Christmas. Remember the reason we celebrate christmas: to get gifts!! haha. Just kidding. It's to remember Jesus of course. So remember him and spend the holidays nice and safe with your fam bams. Oh and read your scriptures, pray, and laugh everyday!

Elder Yates

Sunday, December 16, 2012

a different week this week‏

that is why we are emailing on Monday this week. President Brough has organized a temple trip/Christmas activity on Wednesday so he changed a few things around.

 Hey everyone! Is everyone gearing up for Christmas?! I hope so. Last year, it was bloody hot for me so it was kinda hard to get in the Christmas spirit. But, here in Santa Elena, its pretty darn cold. So it's a lot easier to feel Christmas in the air :)

So we learned recently that they are going to be changing the amount of time that missionaries have to be in the MTC which has thrown off the schedules of ALL the missions. Some missionaries are now going to be going home earlier while others are going to stay out a little longer. Luckily and sadly, this mission is being pushed back 2 weeks. So as of right now, it looks like I am going to be released the 26th of June and I will be flying home the 27th. It wasn't what was planned but that's the way it is. That means for me, more time to baptize! And it's weird that there are missionaries that left AFTER me that will get home BEFORE me now. Oh well. What can ya do? :)

Speaking of time, I am pretty sure I completed 18 months this past week. Doesn't seem real does it?

This past Friday was Dia Del Diablo. I think I mentioned it the past year. The story goes that there was this family that was having a lot of problems in the family many years ago and someone suggested that they take out all of their trash and burn their ''devils'', so they did and the problem was fixed in the family. So now, everyone takes their trash out, as well as a paper maché devil and they burn it outside their house. It's a literal way to solve a figurative problem. haha. So that was a fun day to see all the burning devils in the streetes of Guatemala.
We went this past week to take out the papers for Familia Valles so they can get married this past weekend and when we took them out, we realized that Rodolfo's last name is spelled wrong! Freaking pruebas. So now he has to go down to Villa Canales and fix it himself. We hope he does it quick because we are running out of time! and if he doesn't do it, he will be known as Rodolfo Valler is whole life. Please pray for them!

Well thats about it here in good ol Guatemala. Everything is hunky dorey and I am happy. It's crazy how fast time is flying. I can't wait to see you all shortly, but I can wait until after the 6 months passes and I baptize a ton more people. Stay sweet. Read your scritpures and pray. Also, read in Alma about Ammon and Aaron, they both came to those lands to be missionaries and what did they both say to the king? I will be thy servant. They came to serve! Yes they came to preach but with the attitude to serve! So mark those scriptures and read'em again. I love you all and I invite you to laugh everyday. :)

Elder Yates

Decorating David's Christmas Tree

Bici Taxi

Our Christmas Decorations

Hermano Juan

Saturday, December 8, 2012

we have a new little friend‏

Her name is Jazz. She is a lost street dog that now follows us 24/7.

Hey friends and family! Well this last week has been good. It has been kinda hard in some things, but we are working hard. On Saturday we went with our ward mission leader to the house of Familia Valles and talked about the following week. We put the day to get married and even the date to get baptized! It was such a spiritual lesson. The mother, Maria, even made the comment that she would walk to Villa Canales if she had to to get baptized. So we left the lesson super excited! But then Sunday, they didn't show up for church. So we called la Maria and she said that they had a problem and didn't want to get into detail over the phone. But that she wasn't going to be able to come to church. But then randomly she showed up to Sunday School. We tried talking to her and she said that she couldn't and that she only came for a little bit but she needed to get home. We had an appointment with them for yesterday. So yesterday we went by, and she asked us to come by today. We are really nervous as to what happened so I ask that you please pray for them. Satan is attacking them hard right now and we want them to get married and baptized the soonest possible. Your prayers mean alot.
As for our little friend, Elder Finch and I saw this poor little street dog fighting for her little life beucase a bunch of other dogs wanted to break the law of chasitity with her. So we felt bad and shooed them off and gave her some chips that we bought and then continued on our way. Well she has been following us since. When we go into a lesson, she waits outside the door. It's kind of cute, and kind of annoying. But her name is Jazz, (I named her) and she is now our little friend. haha.

We saw 2 fights this week. One was between 2 drunk men and the other was between 2 very big street dogs. They were both very exciting to say the least :)
I sadly could not go to see the Christmas fireside. Our branch had a bus that was going to take us to the stake center but the bus left at like 2 in the afternoon because they all went before to do family history so we couldn't go so early. I heard it was beautiful though. Maybe I'll see it in another occasion :)
Welp, welp, thats about all here. Nothing too exciting. But we are going to the temple next week! Well I love you all and I pray for you and I hope that you all have a great week. Stay safe and say your prayers. Also, don't forget to laugh everyday!
Elder Yates

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Today is Wednesday.

I feel like today is Tuesday because that is usually when we do emails!
Heyyy! So this past week has been great. Lots and lots of new updates. haha.

First of all, the Familia Valles all came to church on Sunday! even the father! and I think they all really liked it. We also talked to them about marriage and they decided to get married!! So we put the date of their marriage the 8th of December. We just need to get the lawyer all ready and get their papers all ready, but they are progressing! Pray for them! When we talked to them they said, we want to get married civil first and after by the church! Saweet we told them. That is fine with us. haha, so they are progressing nicely.

Also, on Sunday, our recent convert David invited his sister and her kids to come to church and they all came! It was great! I think they really liked it too. So that was really cool too. The Lord is blessing us! But please keep praying for us and the people here in Santa Elena Barillas.

Today we had interviews with President Brough. They were great. We hadn't had interviews in a long time. President Brough says that I am doing great and that he is proud of me (which obviously made me feel awesome!). He also told me that these last 6 months of my mission is my time to shine. He said that I am going to start to get really tired and that it is common for a missionary to question if they can make it to the end. But he says that it IS possible and that I am going to need lots and lots of help from my Heavenly Father. But he has faith in me. And I have faith too! I WILL NEVER GET TIRED! hahaha. I hope.....
Other than that nothing too interesting is happening. Our area apparently is set in the middle of a wind channel so everyday our area is SUPER blowy. I promise. It's always windy and it's getting colder and colder so that is different. haha. We are now leaving the house almost everday in long sleeve shirts and sweaters. We have to bundle up! and I thought it never got cold in Guatemala.....

Well I am happy, just know that. There is nowhere I would rather be than right here. Thanks for all your support and prayers. I love you all so much and can't wait to see your beautiful faces again. Stay safe and sweet and I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. And don't forget to laugh everyday! I love youuu!!!

Elder Yates