Email #5

well… i’ve been away for a month today! it´s crazy how the time goes
by. this week has been great! i have been sick as a dog, but my spirit
is doing wonderful things. this week i had the opportunity to go the
guatemalan temple. it is so tiny, but the spirit and the workings
there are definitely the same. we didn’t get to watch it in spanish,
which was a bummer, but we will the next week i do believe. the dear
elders here work great. i think that we only can get them once a week,
but that´s ok seeing that i only reply once a week. This week I have
been quite sick, to say the least. The entire MTC has been sick. I
will spare you the details, but know the bathroom has been used far
too many times for any average human being. I got a letter from
Randall. Tell him I’ll write back today, and that I really appreciate
what he had to say. Pues…. this week has been great. Elder Russell
is a great companion, and he´s very easy to get along with. Last
Sunday was testimony meeting, and I’m going to throw it out there and
say I was the first gringo to participate. Take that back, according
to my latino friends, I´m a latino haha… not even close. Anyways,
that was a interesting experience. Mom, i must say, I am extremely
grateful for pounding those scriputre masteries in my head. They are
so useful. During lessons they pop up in my mind, and I´m always able
to refer to them and help out our ‘investigators.’ The CCM is much
better than the MTC. Everybody knows everybody else, and we all have a
personal relationship with the CCM president. The latino missionaries
are the best, and my companion and I love hanging out with them. Funny
story, some youth from Honduras came to stay at the CCM because there
are hotel like rooms here, and they were going to the temple. One
girl, I think she was probably 13 gave me a heart shaped folded dollar
bill thing. yikes. I better watch out. Then some other little kids
gave me some dollar from there country, so I could remember them.
They´re sweet little kids, and it’s surprising how many of them are
trying to learn english. Everyone down here watches english movies
with subtitles in spanish, and they listen to the american music. It´s
pretty interesting. On a spiritual note, we listened to a talk by
Elder Holland last Sunday. He gave an account of Peter and the
Disciples, the last chapter of John. After Jesus had been crucified,
the disciples, not knowing exactly what to do, reverted back to there
old habits of fishing. They caught nothing all night. Jesus, watching
them on the shore, told them to cast on the right side of the boat. We
all know the story. Their nets were so full that they couldn´t bring
the fish in. At that moment they knew it was Jesus. Later Jesus asked
Peter, ´doest thou love me, more than these?’ and he repeated this 3
times. In the end Jesus said, ‘then feed my sheep.’ Jeffrey R. Holland
then elaborated that when Jesus asked them to leave there boats, and
leave their fish, that he meant forever. I cannot go back to my way of
life before the mission. I am ´forever’ changed. When Christ asked me
to abandon my boats, abandon my fishing, and abandon those things that
would with hold me from His service, He meant forever. This mission
ending in two years does not give me the leisure to swing back into
the old way of life. Everything is different, and everything has
improved. So when faced with the choice to follow Christ, or to follow
my own will, I am reminded of the line: ‘christian, lovest thou me,
more than these?´´ The answer should always be yes. We should always
be living our lives in line with this saying. I know that by doing so,
I can become the missionary and the man that He wants me to become.
Everything I choose out here is my choice, because we have that
agency. God is not a respecter nor depender on persons, so He does not
necessarily need me to carry this forward, but He wants me to. He
wants me to find this joy in His service so bad. He wants all of us to
have this joy. I love you. Take care of the chitlens over there.
Thanks for your letters and all of your support. I love you all.



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