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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

*professional throat clear*

My dearest family and closest friends,

3 John 1:13-14

with all my love,

Elder Mason Yates

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

last week in the mission?

can it be?

Well my friends, my next week letter might be a little different so I have decided to take this time and bear to you my testimony.
I, Elder Mason Shane Yates, know that Jesus Christ is my Lord, Savior, and Redeemer. I love Him. He suffered for me. I am nothing without Him in my life. He has built me up and strengthened me and He knows me. I love my Father in Heaven. He is literally my Father. He has heard and He has answered my prayers. He has sent me to difficult areas, with difficult companions, with difficult circumstances becuase He loves me. I am who I am now thanks to Him. I am a better person. I am different. I am repented and changed. And I am happy. I am so grateful to him. He is my song and my salvation.
I know that the church is true. It is the only true church over this earth. Jesus Christ is the head of this church. Everything that happens in this church is under His control. We are members of His church. I know that Thomas S Monson is His living prophet today on the earth. I have no doubt. I have testified of it before and I will testify of it again.
I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and together with the Bible, they have the power to convert us to the truth. I have read them. I have studied them. I know that they are books inspired of God and are here on the earth not to collect dust but to be read, studied, and applied.
I know these things are true. I may not have the most eloquent testimony ever, but of the things I have said, I testify because I know them to be true and I cannot deny the things I have said nor Will I deny them in the future. I have felt the truthfulness of these things in my heart. I invite ever person who is thinking about going on a mission to go. go. go. go. you will NEVER regret it. ever. it is the best decision that you can make right now in your life. serving God with all your heart, might, mind and strength is the only way to be happy on the earth. of this I know to be true, because I am happy. I am truly happy. Pray and ask your Heavenly Father if its what you should do. He will help you make this decision. Trust in Him. He knows better than us. Follow His counsels. Never doubt. Act. I love you all so very much and as I finish this last week of my mission, I will do so with a happy, satisfied heart for the blessings that God has given me that I didn't deserve. I am a happy missionary. I appreciate each one of you for the example you have been in my life. I love you and I pray for you. And more importantly God loves you too. Have a great week and may God bless each one of you reading this.
Elder Mason Shane Yates

Sunday, June 16, 2013

downpour rain soccer?

check. :)

So, this week has been great. First, yesterday was Pday. First we had to go to the area office because Elder Coyoy had to do some things with his visa to go to Argentina. It hasn't come yet but it MIGHT be close, or it might not. No se sabe. But after we had planned to go play soccer with the young men of the ward, as a district. We get there and after the first 15 minutes its lightning and thundering. So what do you do when it rains on your Guatemalan-styled soccer game? Why, you play in it of course. So play in it we did. It rained so hard that it got to the point where the court was flooded and when we scored a goal we dove on it like a slip n slide. Don't worry. I have videos. :) But they'll have to wait till I get home, just know that it was the funnest ever and if I get sick, it was totally worth it ;)
Also, something tragic happened this week. Child services came and intervened with my children and took one of them away! :( Elder Smith was sent to Escuintla this past Friday because a missionary there waiting for his visa to go to the Dominican Republic left and left a missionary there, well, companionless. Soooo seeing as we are/were in a trio, they sacked Elder Smith and put him in the belovedly hot, and unbearably wet coast. Lucky boy. He is probably suffering right now but little does he know, he's going to love it. But that means that Elder Coyoy and I are flying solos now. It's sad, but its the way God wants it. respect. 
To say goodbye to Elder Smith, we ordered pizza. Pizza Hut 3 for 1 baby. 3 pizzas. 120 quetzales. Doesn't get any better.
Well are preparing a family right now to get baptized on the the 23rd of this month. The wife is a member but her husband isn't. His name is Rudy and he wants to get married and baptized the soonest possible he said. Soooo we obliged. haha. He came to church last week for the first time so we are preparing his marriage and baptism. Pray for Rudy please! We need your prayers!  #alcancetusmetas
We are planning a couple more baptisms  for this next two weeks. I'm going out in style. I just pray that you help me. Pray for me and I'll pray for you. kinda like I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine. Please and thank you. Welp, have a great week. Love you lots and lots. Read your scriptures and say your prayers, and remember that Jesus and Elder Yates love you. Have a great week! 143.
Elder Yates
3 pizzas...120 quetzels

Elder Yates and Elder Montero 2 year cake

soccer in the rain


Saturday, June 8, 2013

a week full of fun.

What a great week! Lemme explain why...

Heyyyy! So I'm in a super good mood right now! First off, MARISOL GOT BAPTIZED!!!! Por fin! That was great. We kept talking to her about putting her faith in God and taking the first step in the waters of baptism. and she finally agreed! and she asked ME to baptize her. haha. It didn't take much convincing! That was on Saturday, then on Sunday, she got confirmed and her twin sister got all her mission papers done to go on a mission. Marisol wants to go on a mission too but she has to wait just a short little year. It is going to go by fast!

Also on Sunday, we had a stake baptism! In total, we had 8 baptisms on Sunday and little Marcos was part of it. It was great and so spiritual. His whole family came and now his mother is active in the church again after about 2 and a half years of not going. So that was great too. President Brough came and the mission president of south mission so we got to meet and talk with him a little too. They are getting nimajuyu ready for the big change! (after I leave!) 

Also, on Friday I got word that the elder in Guajitos 2 was going to have emergency changes with an elder in the coast. who was the elder in the coast, none other then ELDER MONTERO! My old companion. He is awesome! so he is in my district and we get to see each other lots and lots. Actually we are going to finish our missions together. So that's why I have the picture with him at Antigua. We went together and it was great. Tons of fun. 
Lastly, we got word yesterday from President Brough that we were the most successful district this past week and so we got invited AGAIN to the house of President Brough to have district meeting and eat lunch. It was great. We just got back. AND Hermana Brough even made chocolate chip cookies. aka. heaven. I haven't eaten those since I got to this country. They made me smile and I got to bring the extras home in a bag. Helllooooo dinner :)
Welp, that's about it now, only a couple more weeks left! I'm almost there. Have a great week. Laugh lots and lots and read your scriptures everyday! I love you!! 

Elder Yates

Elder Yates in Genie Pants

Friday, May 31, 2013

Birthday Shanannigans.

I am sure that my family is having. Mother is 1 year older and wiser too (I think she turned 21) and Ry is 19. Write them and tell them Happy Birthday!!

This past week has been great. We are still working hard with Marisol. I just want her to get baptized while I'm here and I will be happy. I feel there are a few people the Lord has prepared for me while I'm here to baptize and she is one of them. Keep praying for her because I think we are close! Just a few more little pushes and she'll be on the right path to our Father in heaven.
We are also planning a baptizm this Sunday for a little niño named Marcos. He's pilas. His mother is a member for the past 3 years but hasn't gone to church and this Sunday she came! It was great to see them there. We are planning his baptizm for this Sunday.
We have met lots and lots of crazy people this week. It was a week of crazies. I promise. Fat guys that dated the secratary of Ronald Reagan and old ladies that cast out devils. Guatemalas got them all. Poor Elder Smith probably doesn't know what to think but I am just helping him get more accostumed to the lovely people here in Guatemala. I know that he is going to love it just as much as I do. :)
The rain is coming in full force everyday now. I bought an umbrella that is keeping me nice and dry and I have started putting 2 pairs of socks on so my toes are nice and warm. Torrents are falling from the sky. ohhhhhhh the rain. Will I miss it? Only time will tell. haha.
Welp, that was my week. I guess it doesn't seem as cool as I thought it did. But, it WAS a good week. I promise. I pray that each of you has a great week and starts off great the month of June. It's going to be a great month. :) Bear your testimony on Sunday! As my wise Grandmother always says, you should never pass up a moment to bear your testimony. I know I'll be bearing mine on Sunday! Thanks Grma!! Have a great week and laugh everyday. Angry people die young.
Elder Yates

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Well, I had twins‏

and I'm pretty sure they are faternal twins. :) hahah

 Well I hope you enjoy the pictures. My comapnions are Elder Smith from Utah and Elder Coyoy from Xela (here in Guatemala) so things are going great. It's weird having two children, especially when one can't speak the English and the other can't speak Spanish. Language barrier and I'm the beloved translator, but it's great. It's going to be such a fun last change.
Elder Coyoy is from here, and he is waiting for his visa to go to Argentina but the visas from Argentina are so common so he may be here for a while. :)
Today was a special day. We got word from President Brough on Sunday that he had invited our district to go to his house and have district meeting there! It was lots of fun. We just got back. His wife even cooked for us. It was really fun and I enjoyed it lots and lots. Their house is so beautiful haha. I promise. anyway. So that was a fun experience.

Everything is going good here, just enjoying my last couple of weeks as a missionary. It is great. I am now the oldest fart in the mission. There is NO missionary older than me (except Elder Israelsen because he entered the MTC about 45 minutes before I did :P) so that is weird, but its good. It's a well deserved title I feel. I have worked hard to be the oldest missionary in the mission. It's been great.
On Friday we had a meeting for the newbies and I showed up with my twins (I'm thinking of buying a two seater stroller and just putting them in there haha) and President Brough asked me how many times I had trained. I slowly stood up and cleared my throat and softly said ''seven times President.'' and thats when the jaws dropped haha. So it was made known to everyone that I am the missionary who has trained the most out of any other missionary in the Guatemala City Central Mission. Soooo that's kind of cool right? He told me that their is no other honor as big as knowing that God trusts in me enough to let me train 7 times. :)
Well my friends, until next week. Remember that I love you and pray for you and hope that you always choose the right. Have a great week, pray, listen to the spirit and laugh everyday. And THANK YOU GRANDMA FOR THE DEARELDERS! Whatta trooper. My Grma has got you all beat. 2 years later and the dearelders are still coming through strong, stud status. Give her a wink for me if you see her and tell her she's the best. Because she is. ha! Love you Grma! and love you reader!
Elder Yattttes

Friday, May 17, 2013

long time no talk!

So I got to talk to my Mother on Sunday and it was glorious. promises. She is the best Mother in the whole world and everyone in the world should tell Happy Mothers day to first their own Mother and second to MY Mother! :D
So I have some breaking news. I am training again for my last change. This will make it my sixth time training. BUTTTT I also got word that I might be recieving 2 kids at the same time. TWINS! eeeeekkk! BUT that is just rumor. But I feel like it's a pretty concrete rumor becasue last night at 11 the APs called me and told me to go outside and help them move in another bed to our house and then promptly told me that I am going to be receiving 2 new missionaries. But like I said, it's pure speculation. ;) But pray for me please.

We still haven't been able to baptize Marisol. It was going great with her, but when we go to put a date with her to get bapitzed, she chickens out. Keep praying for her beucase we just love her so much and we want her so badly to be baptized. I know she will but I just hope it's soon.
So the weeks are going by so fast. I don't really have any cool or funny stories this week. Well, I have FUNNY stories but they are kinda gross becasue they all deal with drunk ctrazy people. I'll share those a little later on. Just remember kids, don't do drugs haha.
We will have to see where my companion gets sent tommorow. I'll let you know.  There are going to be a lot of changes I feel going on in the mission. I should have an interesting email for ya'll next week. So stay tuned for that please! Just know that I love you all and I am praying for you. Keep saying your prayers and enjoy vacations!! :D oh and laugh everyday.
Elder Yates
The most awesome pic ever??


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Adios abril!

Hey, hey, he, so I am learning a lot this week. It has been tough. The Lord is deciding to test me one last time before I go home and I am thankful for that trial. Marisol still doesn't feel that she should get baptized yet BUT we are still loving her and helping her and praying for her to get baptized as soon as possible. Keep praying for her too please! Your prayers mean alot. I promise :)
We have another little investigator that we are teaching. His name is Marcos. He is 9 and his mother is a less active member who is lazy more than anything. BUT Marcos is awesome and super pilas. He went to church this last weekend with a member family and wants to get baptized. So we are planning his baptism for the 19th of this month. He is REALLY smart and understands things really fast. So keep praying for him too please.
Lastly, we had an investigator named Ingrid that started coming to church with her father who is a recent convert and she was supposed to get baptized this weekend. BUT her sweet NOT member mother came and took her away from her father this week (because they are seperated) and doesn't want anything to do with the church. poop. BUT we are still praying for her.

I want on divisions this last week with and elder named Elder Vallejos from Coasta Rica and we went to his area and I started contacting a man and this is what went down:

me - ''Hey! How are you?''
the man - ''you guys are Mormons right?''
me - ''thats what they call us! haha''
the man - ''well I don't believe in the Mormons.''
me - ''well thats ok because our message is about Christ. Do you believe in Him?''
the man - ''I don't believe in Christ either.''
me - ''what?! that's so sad. well this message is definetely for you because Christ loves you and we want to teach you why He is important.''
the man - ''no thank you.''
me (after a couple of trys) ''well you're always invited to church''
the man - '' I own your church.''
me - ''huh?''
the man - ''yep. I am the Elders Quorum President of the Cerro Grande Ward.''
me - ''.........''
Soooo turns out my divos comp told the guy to play a trick on me. haha. He really WAS the Elders Quorum President and jokes on me. haha. But it was pretty funny afterward when I realized it was all a joke. I felt silly but I was just more relieved that it wasn't real. haha. I started looking for Ashton Kutcher becasue I got Punk'd!
Well that was my week. I am learning more about being humble and accepting Gods will over mine. It isn't easy at all but its worth it in the long run. Thanks for everything. Keep saying your prayers and reading your scriptures. I appreciate every single one of you. If you have time, write me and tell me somehting spiritual that is going on in your life. oh! and don't forget to laugh everyday :)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

you (will) have a birthday‏

Everyone wish my good ol' Dad a Happy Birthday Please! He is a special man and deserves a special day. Happy Birthday Dad!
Well this week, Marisol did NOT get baptized. She drank coffee, blasted mcafé, anyway. So we are HOPING if EVERYTHING goes good to have her baptism this coming weekend. We are also planning the baptism of a little girl named Ingrid. Her father got bapitzed about a month ago and she has seen a huge difference in him because he gave up drinking and smoking and she has been really suprised and happy with his change. So be praying for them please. Elder Orrillo and I have been working like bumble bees around here and we need some prayer magic. :D
Interviews with President Brough were great. It was my last one :( and I thought it was going to be pep talk for my last 2 months but it was more of a how have you changed on your mission type of interview. It really made me look back and see how I was before my mission and I am now. I am still the same Mason Yates. But all my weak attributes that I had before my mission are a lot stronger now. I am the same person, just the traits I have are better than before. I have seeen the change and President Brough has also seen the change. He told me that he was very very proud of me. I felt good :) haha. He has been the best Mission President in the world. I know I came to this mission mainly for him. Because besides my parents, he has helped me become the person I am today more than any other person. He is great and I greatly appreciate him and his family.
Nothing TOO exciting is happening here. Getting ready for changes in 2 weeks. This change has gone by SOOOOOO fast. I promise and the next one is going to go by even faster and then where will I be? :)
Sorry my letters are boring, maybe I am just getting lazy at writing. oh well. :) See you soon, laugh everyday and read your scriptures. I LOVE YOU!!!
 Elder Yates

Friday, April 26, 2013

This has been a week of ''breaking'' news

raise your hand if you know what I mean... :)

So I heard about the Boston thing and the Texas thing, how tragic. My prayers and thoughts go out to those who were affected by these terrible incidents, as well as other ''breaking'' news this week. ;)

Well Marisol didn't feel quite ready this past Sunday so we are now planning her baptizm this coming Sunday. Actually the whole zone is planning to have baptizms this Sunday and we really want to do them together. It would be so cool! So please keep praying for her and for everyone else that we want to baptize! I hope to have some awesome pictures next week. Marisol is great and has even talked about going on a mission! how cool!

We had 2 pdays last week! best week ever? fo sho baby girl. On one of those pdays we were able to go to the temple as a zone and feel the spirit and be rejuventated espiritualmente. :) It was awesome. I promise. I have some pics that I am going to send home. Just pray that this computer doesn't give me a virus. Please and thank you.

I am working really hard and enjoying my last couple of months as a missionary of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I love him. I know that He is my salvation. He died for ME and MY sins, becuase He loves me. I trust in Him now more than I ever did before. Through Him all things are possible.

Have a great week and keep laughing, say your prayers and read the scriptures 5 minutes every day at least and you'll see the blessings. LOVE YOU!!!
Elder Yattttes


Saturday, April 20, 2013

week 2 in Nimajuyu‏

 Hay girl hay! So I'm just living it up in Guajitos still. Things are going good here. We are hoping to have a baptism this Sunday of a young girl we found my first week here. Her name is Marisol and she has come to church every week but she just has some little tiny doubts as to the Book of Mormon. Pray for her! She's great!

I had an interview with my main man Mr. President Brough and he let me know whats going down. I asked him why I was taken out of Escuintla and he said he wanted to leave me there but the spirit told him no. We cant learn in our comfort zone and we can't be comfortable in our learning zone. So I was sent to a ''dead area'' he said to turn things around. haha. No pressure. I am having a great time with Elder Orrillo. He is so humble and receptive to the counsel I give him. I am almost positive that he is going to have changes and I will finish my mission training again. ahaha. So that will be good.

We didn't have pday yesterday! why? Because the temple is closed on Mondays! Yep we're going to the temple! and we are going on Thursday! and it is going to be so much fun and we we we so excited! (name that song) so I'll be sure to take pictures and send them home to all my homies.

As for other news, I talked to Elder Montero and Familia Pacheco was baptized and they are doing great. So that's awesome. I love them. also, Elder Maldonado finally got his visa to Mexico so he left this past week as well. Suerte en el calorcito I told him. He'll be great there.

Just know that I am working hard and having fun. I love each and every one of you and it's crazy to think that I am only going to email about 10 more times. Gotta make them count huh? :) Lots of love and lots of success. Remember to laugh everyday and follow the teachings of Jesus.

little kiss, big kiss, little hug, little hug, big hug, big kiss, little kiss

Elder Yatesss

Happy Birthday Elder Yates!!

Knocking on a door on a cliff

Elder Orrillo and Elder Yates


Sunday, April 14, 2013

where in the world is Elder Yates...

He is in the capital! again! haha.

So my new area is called Guajitos and it is in the capital in the zone Nimajuyu. It's a good little area. It's small and dense; somehting I'm not to used to, but it's great. I'm training! My companion is Elder Orrillo from...... Peru, haha, another Peruvian. Being with Elder Montero and Elder Garcia for 6 weeks has helped me to understand them better haha. He is a great little guy, very humble and very ready to learn. He asks me permission to do everything!! seriously, but its fun. The first day we were walking and I heard him mumble to himself ''Wow! I'm with a real Northamerican as my companion.'' haha. We have high hopes for this change. So stay tuned!

I have to say I really miss Escuintla, that little city holds a special place in my heart. I love the people and culture there so much. I miss it. I can honestly say that it has been my favorite area so far. It was wonderful. I got word that Familia Pacheco was baptized on Sunday. yay! It's sad that I wasnt there but thats not really what matters right? the people were so sad to hear that I was leaving and honestly I was just as sad.  I know that I am in my new area for a reason. I just need to work hard and I will be able to figure out that reason.

Conference was spectacular! I loved the preisthood session talk by President Uchtdorf. wow! and I loved Jefferey R Hollands talk,and how about those announcements: a temple in Cedar City, Utah! How cool is that! and get a load of how many new missionaries there are! 65 thousand! the work is BOOMING!!! I was blessed to watch conference in my native tongue of English so I got to hear the words how they were spoken. I loved the talk by Enrique R Falabella, he is the area President here in Central America so we get to meet with him frequnetly and hear from him. I loved his talk and it was cool to hear him speak in English. He did a pretty good job huh? :)

So things here are going good. I have high goals for the end on my mission. I plan to work hard and baptize. I love you all so much. I appreciate your support. You're awesome. Keep being awesome and working hard and remember that every member is a misisonary. Help the missionaries! Be a missionary! Your'e awesome and will be blessed. See ya all in just over 2 months!! :)
Elder Yates

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

oh, goodbye palm trees‏

:( the secrets out. I have changes. NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!
So tomorrow we have a change meeting and I will be showing up because I am leaving Escuintla. :(((( super sad face to the max. because that means that I will be arriving at my last area !!! side note. I got a phone call from Mr. President Brough this week saying that I am going to be training again. This will be my 5th time training and will make me one of the missionaries that has trained the most in his mission. What is the Lords will for me? I'll find out tomorrow!!!!!

So another big announcement! Familia Alvisuris got baptized! ...except for the Dad no. He didn't feel ready yet. SO Hermana Hayde and two of her kids, Marco and Josue got baptized on Sunday. Hermana Hayde and Hermanito Josue asked me to baptize them. :) con mucho gusto les dije yo. It was great. Also, remember Hermana Susana and her kids that got baptized in January? Welp, her second to youngest son, Jorge, turned 8 last week and asked me to baptize him! So his baptizm was Sunday too. It was great. What a great day. The weird part of Sunday, an investigator from the other missionaries left church on Sunday and headed for his house and went to cross the street in front of the church and got ran over. That was weird considering it was an investigator I found with Elder Acosta who is planning on getting baptized soon. BUT don't fret my friends because he walked away from the accident ok, very very injured, but ok. Please pray for him!

I'm so excited about conference. There are so many specualtions as to what's going to happen and other big annoucements that there will be. But I am so excited. I want to hear your thoughts about conference and what talks you liked and things like that please and thank you. Talking about big announcements, the First Presidency has announced that a missionary is now allowed to email ANY person, not just family, that means I can email YOU. But, dont get mad if I don't at first because well, I still don't have a lot of time. but it'll be quicker than a letter. With that said, my email is I'd love to hear how your doing!!!

Walp, that's about it. Familia Pacheco is giong to get baptized on Sunday, but I won't be here. :( but I'm sure my next area has tons and tons of work for me :) I love you so much. Keep reading the Book of Mormon!! and watch EVERY session of conference, they are all amazing. :) laugh everyday, and listen to the spirit.

Elder Yah-tes

Saturday, March 30, 2013

and then there were three...

Elder Maldonado left today! But just to Puerta de Hierro and he'll be back. I'll explain in just a second.

Hey yeall! So this week has been crazy! Let me explain.

Familia Alvisuris came to church again for their third time and now want to get baptized.... everyone except for the dad, Marcos. He says he just isn't ready yet, that one day soon he will.  The mother, Hayde and her kids, Marco Antonio, and Josue want to get baptized this Sunday. So we are planning their baptizm and they are really really excited. We also have Familia Pacheco. We challenged them to get baptized and they said yes, but it wasn't a 100% sure yes. It was a hestitant yes. They want to, but they just aren't totally sure yet. But they are ready. It is just satan that is putting garbage in their noggin and we are the trash men that are going to fix it. :) no os preocupéis. So we really want to have their baptizm this Sunday too. So pray for them too! porfa.

Elder Maldonado left today. Sadly, it was necessary to have emergency changes in one of the areas today and Elder Maldonado was chosen to fill the spot. BUT it is just until changes. He is going to be coming back next week when we have changes next week. So it is just temporary. Elder Garcia and Elder Montero and I are in a trio until next week.

Another cool thing this week was that we moved houses! We found a really really nice house in a new colony right by our church building that was asking for the same amount that we were paying. It is soooo much better but moving houses is a pain in the neck! I'll send pics of the new house next week :)

Finally, President Brough came to our sacrament meeting this week! It went great. I actually was in a special musical number and got to sing in front of everyone. I know what you are thinking, Elder Yates can sing?? The answer is YES! But its not pretty. BUT we are in Guatemala so to a tone deaf group of Guatemalans, my voice doesn't sound that bad. People told me good job and I was flattered and then remembered after that I still couldn't sing good so I was humbled haha. But it was fun, Elder Montero played the piano while I sang.

Things are going great here in Escuintla. Just trying to get all my goals accomplished before I go. My time is short and my goals are high. Changes are next week and then I only have 2 left. weird. My advice: laugh everyday. enjoy every second of life. don't regret a day. Even bad days can be the best learning experiences. Take advantage of those days so that you never have a bad day again :) keep reading them scriptures and write down your questions for conference. I love you all and pray for you! cheque pues!!!

Elder Jates

Friday, March 22, 2013

Miss Dina, Miss Dina‏

got baptised on Sunday! pictures to follow.

Hey! so Miss Dina got baptized on Sunday! The service was great and she bore her testimony after saying that we (the missionaries) came into her life right when she needed us and that she was grateful to her Father in Heaven for that. She was really emotional and it was great. She said that she is always going to endure in the church!

As for Familia Alvisuris, they came to church again! and they liked it again :) which is great. The mother Hayde is really great and wants to keep going to church forever and gets baptized and the whole shabang. But, the hubby is a bit more slow. He believes in God and everything but he has got some bad habits that he knows he needs to change but it is a little hard for him.  But we keep motivating him and helping him and he is progressing poco by poco. What a great family!

The other family that we are teaching is the Familia Pacheco. They are great and they are progressing nicely. But the mother, Patricia still hasn't recieved a firm answer if the church is true. So we keep animating them and helping them to recieve the answer that the church is true. After recieving the answer that it is, is when the blessings come. So satanás will do everything in his power to prevent people from getting that answer. I got my answer! Do you have yours?

This Sunday was neat because a returned missionary from Utah came to visit with his parents and wife. His name (was) Elder Beck and he was here in Escuintla about 3 years ago. It was sooooo cool to talk to him and his parents. His parents didn't know ANYTHING of spanish nor did his wife, but they were so happy to be here with their son and experience the culture, meet the people, and endure the heat of the coast. haha. His mother told me that in not to long, MY parents were going to back here to visit again just like they were doing. I know she is right. Decemeber baby! Parents, are you ready?!! :D

So overall it was a great week. Yesterday was our zone pday and we played soccer and bought pizza. I got sunburned and now I'm tomato red. Worth it? You betcha. I love playing some soccer. You should try it! How's the weather up there anyway in the states. I bet its getting better now right? nice and toasty. :) Play some soccer! It's good excercise and you'll have fun. Don't forget to laugh everyday. It makes the stress go away and always say your prayers. General Conference is coming up! Has everyone finished the book of mormon yet? I'm ALMOST done! 4 Nephi baby! everyone should read 3 nephi 11. It is my favorite chapter in ALL the book of Mormon. ask yourself, ''What would I have done if I was among the multitude?'' it's great :) love you lots and lots. Have a great week!!!!!!

Elder Jates

Saturday, March 16, 2013

hey hey hey‏

I only have 23 minutes left. So imma gone make it a quick one.
Sorry this letter is giong to be short. The big things that happened this week is that Fam Alvisuris came to church and they loved it! But then their pastor started telling them a whole bunch of lies. That a pretty face doesn't lead to salvation and that gringos only come to Guatemala to steal little children and sell them in the states. mala honda va? But they didn't listen to him. They believe the message that we are sharing with them and now all of their neighbors hate us.....

We are going to have a baptism this weekend! First with a woman named Dina. I contacted her looking for the Relief Society President about 2 weeks ago. She didn't seem that positive but she has come to church twice and accepted the baptismal date for Sunday! We also have a family named Familia Pacheco. I think I mentioned them last week. They came to church again and are also preparing for this Sunday, even though they aren't 100% sure yet. They still have their duditas that they need to solve. So pray for them! They are great!

Being in a four some is getting better. Althogh the house gets dirtier a ton faster, it gets cleaner a lot faster as well. haha. yep. We cleaned yesterday and the Elder Montero and Elder Garcia made Peruvian food, delish. They are pretty good cooks I must say. I have no idea what it was that they made or what was in it, but it was yummy. haha.

Well, nothing more that I can really say. I am just working hard and enjoying my time as a missionary. Me falta poco. But the time is going by so fast. I promise. I don't even feel it anymore. Keep reading the Book of Mormon because I know it is true. My testimony has grown so much of that book during my mission. I want to read it one more time in Spanish before I finish my mission. It is true in every language! I also have a greater love for my Savior. He loves me and I love Him. I know He loves and knows me. I am grateful for that knowledge. Thanks for everything. Smile and keep laughing everyday. It's good for you. I promise, less stress. Love you all!

Elder Yates

Friday, March 8, 2013

a day with President Brough

is a great day indeed. And actually, he is going to leave and visit with us today! It's going to be so great! I'll let you know how it goes (next week).

Today we had a zone conference and it went so good. It was just us here in Escuintla and President Brough helped us a lot in how to have shorter lessons that are more effective lessons to help budget our time better. Many missionaries are having super long lessons and when they go back to visit they realize that the investigators don't rememebr anything that the missionaries taught the first time. So it was a great and effective zone conference and I learned a lot.
We have a new family that we are teaching (between the 4 of us) named Family Pacheco. They are really pilas and were able to attend church on Sunday. They REALLY enjoyed it and are progressing really well. The dad is William and his wife Patricia and their son Kevin who is 11. We also found another family last night that had been praying  that we would show up. They are Familia Alvisuris. The mother Haidé and her husband Marcos. She had always seen us pass by her house and she made the comment to God that if one day, we talked to her, she would receive us and listen to the message we bring. Well last week we talked to her and she LOVED the message as well as her husband. They have 4 patojitos (kids) and want to come to church this week!
We are having lots of success and lots of fun. Once we all got to know each other, things in the house go a lot better. We are joking a lot more with each other and working really well as a foursome. It is great. I like where I am right now and the things that are happening. I am happy. :) The mission is treating me great. I think I am going to have one more change in this area and finish my mission training or something. I feel that is what is going to happen, pero solo Dios sabe, and until then, I will keep working like a missionary.
Also, the volcano exploded again this week and it was so pretty, promise. My beloved companion, Elder Garcia, wanted to test his baseball skills by throwing a rock at a wasps nest. First try, he nails it. I have never ran so fast in my whole life. I promise. haha. But it was a fun experience. haha.
Welp, love you. Keep working hard. Have fun, study. Don't forget about me. Say your prayers and laugh everyday and remember that I love you. (that's a lot of advice!) :)

Elder Ya-tes

Elder Maldonado's Birthday Cake


Sunday, March 3, 2013

a new mission...

is going to be made in Guatemala! Guatemala Coban Mission. Woop Woop!

Hey hey! So this past week has been good. We are trying to get in the swing of things here in Golondrinas as a 4 some companionship. It is fun actually. Kind of weird honestly, but fun. Living 4 in the house is good. It's hard because the house is kind of small but it's good. It gets a lot dirtier a lot faster but there are more hands to make the work lighter. It's going to take some getting used to, but I will figure it out haha.

So yes! There is going to be a new mission in Guatemala. They are making 3 in Central America (another in Honduras and another in El Salvador) so there are going to be 6 missions in Guatemala: Central Mission, South Mission, East Mission, Coban Mission, Quetzaltenango Mission, and Rhetahuela Mission. Yeah! The work is progressing! But what does that mean for us? They are going to be rearranging the boundaries of our mission. We are going to lose 2 zones in the capital to the South Mission (Zona Nimajuyu and Zona Mariscal) and we will be receiving another zone in the coast (Zona Tiquisate (which I would LOVE to go to haha)). All of these changes are going to start taking effect soon but the actual changes won't happen until July. So it looks like I will be in the clear and that I will be finishing my mission here in the Central Mission (phew!). So I am really excited for the changes that are going to go down. How special, huh?
Well other than that nothing too exciting has happened this week. We found and caught an iguana in our house this week. I named him preston. Then we let him go. It was a fun experience. Also, this last week, a nearby volcano began to erupt lava (at night!) and it was gorgeous. It was a small eruption, but it was so pretty. I promise. But I had left my camera at home so I wasn't able to take a picture. oh well.
Another big focus we have right now is making Escuintla a Stake! Right now it is a distrcit and therefore there are no wards, just branches. President Brough wants to send the request in before General Conference so there is possibility that Escuintla becomes a stake! How cool would that be? And I get to be part of the magic. Our challenge right now? attendance. So we are visting ALL the innactives in the area to get them to come back to church so that we can qualify to become a stake. So pray for the (future stake) of Escuintla!
We are working hard. Finding new people to teach always and setting high goals. It's what missionaries do. I love you all and I invite you to read ALL of Helaman 5. It is great. What an amazing chapter. Keep saying your prayers and don't forget to laugh everyday! I wuv you!!!
Elder Jates. (thats how they say it here)
Elder Yates and his Companions eating ice cream

Catholic Church in Antigua

Elder Lagos' "Family"

Friday, February 22, 2013

I left 2, and got 3!

So about 2 weeks ago, President Brough gave Elder Acosta and I another missionary named Elder Gomez from Honduras who was having some companion problems and told us to kill him the following 2 weeks. So we did :) The past week, my companion(s) and I have gotten up at 4:30 everyday and we had 70 lessons, 65 new investigators and 1018 contacts over the course of the week. Needless to say, we were all pretty tired but at least Elder Acosta finished his mission strong. (he flies home tomorrow!!) So we show up to change meeting and I receive my new companion (Elder Montero from Peru) and then we both receive ANOTHER companion! We are both senior companions to 2 other missionaries. His companion is Elder Maldonado from Guatemala City (waiting for his visa to go to Mexico) and my companion is Elder Garcia from Peru. So right now we are 4 missionaries living in the same house. I leave now everyday with Elder Garcia and Elder Montero leaves everyday with Elder Maldonado. They are all Latins so no English for me! But it's good and it's going to be so good for the area. We are going to destroy the area!

Elder Finch stayed in Santa Elena and is still training but he went up to District Leader. pilas!! And my trainer, Elder Lagos went home! haha. How crazy. He was a good father. I learned lots and lots from him.

So that was about it for our week. We just worked really hard and then had changes. So it has been a good week. Escuintla is doing good. It's getting hotter and hotter. All of the sudden President sends me to the mountains to suffer haha. But I would really like to go. I hope I go there, but we'll have to see. Thanks for everything. This week, read Alma 60 and 61. Moroni writes a (very, very, very, very, very) strong letter Pahoran and how does Pahoran respond? Out of humility. What a great example. We need to be more humble like Pahoran so that we solve the problems instead of causing more. Like the scriptures say, humble ourselves to the dust, that's my goal this week. Anyway, keep reading your scriptures and laugh everyday. I love you and will see you very, very soon!

Elder Yates

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The war chapters in the Book of Mormon would be rated R if it was a movie

Hey, Hey, Hey! How's it going ya'llllll?? (Texas accent) Everything is going good here. We are working hard always and living large.

So we had interviews on Friday! They went superb. President told me that I am doing good and that he is proud of me. :D He also told me to enjoy the coast becuase he is pretty sure that I am not going to finish my mission here...... :O I really thought this was my last area. It makes me happy and sad. I have come to love the coast. Really. I love the heat and the people. But, I would LOVE to go to the mountains. It would be fantastical. So I started praying that I finish in the mountains ;) I also was able to ask President if he sees me training again in the future (I like training) and he said he thinks so. :D So im pretty stoked for that. Training is bomb like Donkey Kong. I promise. The mission is the best. So interviews went great.

We also got a new companion this week! haha. With so many changes going on in the mission, the Lord saw it fit to put me and Elder Acosta back into a trio. Our new companion right now is Elder Gomez from Honduras. He actually entered the mission field with me so we have about the same time. It's good. He's here to work hard and have fun. So that's a great blessing. Being in a trio though sure is weird!....
Yesterday we went to Antigua!! Antigua was great. I bought some stuff and went to tons of old ruins, including an old preserved Catholic Church. It was beautiful and I learned so much. I also got some great pictures and had fun with the zone. Antigua is a great place. Who wants to visit it with me after the mission?! :)
So I was going to send pictures but the computers that we are using today are super, super sketch. Mejor no. I don't want to get a virus (for the umpteenth time) so I will send them next week when we are using better computers.

So, I am reading right now in the Book of Mormon all the war chapters. It mentions many times that all the things written in the Book of Mormon are of great worth so I have been pondering alot about how the war chapters are of great worth. Well, Jesus in the Bible always uses parables. In reality, the wars chapters are a big actual parable. The Amalikites are Satan and temptation and we are the Nefites. What does Moroni do to prevent enemy attacks? He fortifies the citys so that when the Amalikites come, they are powerless. They can't reach the Nefites. We must be the same. We must prepare ourselves in easy times so that when the hard times come (like breaking the law of chastity or word of wisdom) we know how to react. We know wha to do. We can stay calm because we know that sin has NO power of us, rather that we have control over sin. We must be strong and we can never stop fortifying ourselves! We must ALWAYS read the scrptures, pray, and go to church. They are essential! So my invitation is that we can never stop preparing ourselves. Today is the day. Start now! yeah! :)

I love you all lots and lots. Keep being awesome, study hard and play harder. Say your prayers and laugh everyday. Have a great week!

Elder Yates

Sunday, February 10, 2013

changes during the change

yesterday we had changes!! ....during the change.
Soooo because so many are entering the mission everything is all weird now with the week changes happen and stuff. We had a change meeting yesterday in which 20 something new missionaries entered the mission and not one person went home (until the 19th). The cool and weird thing is 17 of the newbies are Guatemalans. They are serving in their own countries! It's kind of a blessing to really know your own people and be able to serve them. So it was kind of a weird change meeting because the only people that went, were those that are training! One of them is Elder Finch! again! haha. He is on his second trainee already. I have 2 grandhchildren. How cool is that? haaa. So that was pretty neat.

We split our area! The mission is growing so much that we arent going to be able to fit anymore  missionaries, so they are splitting the areas. There are now 2 more missionaries in Golondrinas which is going to be a huge help in the branch. We'll have to see what other changes come!!!

Today we had zone training. We learned alot about faith and hope. Faith is great because it is a believe in God, but hope is the optimism and enthusiasm that shows and demonstrates faith. As a zone in Escuintla, we had a lot of baptismal dates fall through in the month of January and lots of missionaries were kinda disanimated about that. So the topic was hope. Don't worry! God will bless us. We just need to be diligent and obedient and happy. The blessings will come. The zone is a lot more animated now. I'm excited for the month of Febraury. :)

Welp. I don't have much more time. I love you all lots and lots, read everyday and pray, and don't forget to laugh everyday as well!

Elder Yates