Bryson arrived at the Salt Lake City Airport on Wednesday, August 9, (one day after his 20th birthday) at 4:30 pm. Of course he didn't come down the escalator like a normal missionary! Bryson put on a big hoodie, with the hood over his head, and sunglasses on! He didn't have us fooled for too long, though! His brother in law yelled "in the hoodie!" and I yelled "that's him, that's him!" It was great fun, haha, although, we didn't get good pics of him coming down the escalator because of it! We are so glad to have him safely home! He loved Guatemala, and the Guatemalan people, more than any of us can even imagine. I hope he takes me back there someday!
All I know is that I've been craving Little Debbie Swiss Rolls for 25 thousand years!
Well I´m not going to lie this is the weirdest thing ever. I still don´t understand that I am going home. Like, I think about it sometimes but at the same time it is like a dream you know? It´s like something that you dream but you don´t think it´ll ever happen haha! I don´t know when it´ll hit me. Maybe tomorrow.
This week was the greatest last week of anyone's mission since the fall of the Berlin Wall!!!!! Ju and An got baptized on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday and we got permission from President Goodman to baptize the whole family Car in the river and then confirm them right after on the side of the river because they are from the group Tahuexco and they need the branch president to look over the confirmations which would have been impossible for next week! So we did it and I almost got swept away in the river! I will try to get some pictures that President Maldonado and hermano Rony took.
But I realized there is nothing better than being a full time missionary. It must be the most fulfilling thing that I have done in my entire life! I have never been an instrument for so much good in my entire life! The experience is incredible! I have learned more about the love Our Heavenly Father has for us in such a personal way. I love this Church and Gospel for all the happiness it´s brought to me in my life and in the lives of all of the converts, members and investigators that I've got to know here. Truly the greatest thing of all time!
I love La Maquina too! We taught 21 people who prepared themselves for baptism in just this area! We married 4 families and baptized all of them! It is the greatest joy of my entire life! It was hard saying goodbye to all of them.
Anyways this was the greatest time of my life and I know that I´ll feel the effects for the rest of my life!!! I couldn't have gone to a different mission! Anyways I have to go now!!! Thanks so much for everything during the mission You are the greatest mom that any missionary could ask for! I love you and miss you so much!!!!!! I would have never gotten to live this great experience if it wasn't for you! I love you! And I'll see you very very soon! In person!!!!!
So I was thinking yesterday and I thought of the greatest theory of all time! It´s hard to explain how the heck I feel with the whole leaving the mission thing. So I thought of a good way to explain it: So it´s like there is this girl and everyone tells you that she´s really good looking! So they set you up on a blind date with her but the thing is that you have to sign a legal contract that says that you have to date her for two years. You don´t really like her at first because you have diarrhea the whole time and you are kind of happy that you know that you can be single again after the contract is up. then a few months into it you realize that she is pretty cool and that you like dating her. Then you get towards the end of the contract and you try to do everything you can so that she wants to extend the contract, so you buy her nice things for valentines day hoping that she will keep you around longer. Then the contact ends and she doesn´t even want you and leaves you to the wolves and you feel like crap. But at the same time you´re happy to be on the market again, it's like exciting.
That´s what I told Elder Tagg yesterday and he agreed. I think it´s a pretty solid metaphor.
Anyways yeah we had a lot of fun! I realized that my brain can´t understand going home so I just don´t think about it too much and I just feel like I´m going to stay here for the rest of my life and that life will just continue on how it is.
Well we are going to have an awesome time this week preaching repentance and baptizing converts!!!!! Weez gonna baptize 6 people this weekend to end well!!!!! Heck yeah!!!! ´´O´Doyle RULES!!!!!!!´´
Anyways I love this place, I am dying knowing that I have to leave! I did like 500 interviews yesterday to say goodbye to the members pretty much, and to make sure that they continue on with their goals and everything! I love La Maquina! I love Guatemala and I love the Guatemalan people so much! They are pretty weird, with their weird hand signs and slang and stuff but they are just great Christ-like people! It sucks leaving them but I am really happy! I can´t wait to see King Lear (that´s what I decided I´m going to call Kingston. It´s a play that I read in high school. It was really good) and Titan and I can´t wait to see my sisters and everyone!!! And, I can't wait to see you, mom!!! I always talk to everyone about you! I walk around with a picture of you in my wallet to show everyone and they always say ´´Ay! Ella sí es joven!´´ But it will be good to see you in person!
Anyways that´s all I got to say! And we cast out a skin walker out of a house and a person thought that I was a skin walker because of my trompo (top) skills haha! so that was cool. So I told Kelsey that I don´t know if I will be able to write next Monday haha! But I should have time. I just know that I might have a dinner with President and Hermana Goodman and it would have to be monday, but I will probably write you! Anyways love you!!!!! I will see you in like a week!!!!! Have a fun last week without me haha! You better enjoy it!
cute Guatemalan baby
They used his name tag to cut the cake. They celebrated all August birthdays.
"Look at all those chickens!" ha ha you got to look that quote up (you tube video). So funny. Elder Russell said that yesterday and I laughed so hard!!!!
Well things are going well! We´re working hard so that I can baptize 70000 people before I go home! We found this awesome 12 year old girl and her mom is a less active and we found them so easy and we are going to baptize her my last week! Along with Astrid and the family from Tahuexco!
So we went to Tahuexco like 70000 times this week which is really hard without a car. It is like in the middle of nowhere and there is no transport! Every time we go I feel like Napolean´s army when they went to invade Russia. We go out having no idea if we will get back haha! But somehow we always do! But yeah. The hardest thing for them is they have to go to church under a little palm leaf shack unless we have a conference. Well the group leader in Tahuexco is kind of a chambon and doesn´t do crap sometimes! He just decides sometimes to not have sacrament meeting there. I macheted the crap out of him yesterday. But it´s hard because they can´t attend church if there is no meeting to attend! But they´ll get baptized and it´ll all be good!!!!
Well I´m poppin those pills and snorting that weird powder that you sent me (ha, he's not really snorting the powder, it's a drink mix) so my stomach should be good by the time I go home! The powder smells like apple cider! They help, but I ate something really bad today and I feel like shiz! People keep giving us some horse shiz to eat and I feel bad rejecting it haha!
We´re having fun though! We had to cast a demon out of a little girl last Tuesday!
Love you guys! Also what's up with the Priesthood line of authority the church sent for me?! Why does it stop at that one guy?! Or did Uncle Chuck get the authority straight from Peter James and John? Haha!
I love Star Valley! I want to go to that temple! It looks so chiquitito though!!!!!
So,Yeah President called me last Monday and told me not to feel bad about the car problem because it was a blessing in disguise, maybe haha! But they have to take apart the whole thing and it costs Q15000 but that is why there is insurance! Anyways I have to go! I´ll talk to you next week!!! Love you!!!!!
Wow I don´t even know how to describe this week. It was so crazy!!! And awesome! it was maybe the greatest week of all man kind!!! I don´t know if I can explain everything but I´ll try!
So number one. I went on exchanges with Elder Zavala! The power had gone out all day the day before because some random hurricane came through the Maquina. But the power went out everywhere except for one Evangelical church who were doing this thing called Vigilia. That is when they stay up all night. But this evangelical church is really special because they have giant a speakers that they hoist up on a pole so that everyone can hear them. And they were singing their songs all night and the whole Maquina could here them! It was awful I couldn´t sleep.
Second I was driving to pick a member up to go visit, well there was this unmarked ditch on a downhill slant that I did not see. Well I drove half of the car into it and I have no idea what happened but I´m pretty sure some angels grabbed the car and pushed it out because i put that thing in reverse and got right out of the ditch and everyone was astonished. Then we went and visited and a rabbit peed on me it was bad.
Third this dog went right out in front of me when I was driving and i sliced that poor thing in half. It was really sad I saw it in the rear view mirror. It suffered.
Well the next day came and somehow I got to do exchanges with Elder Tagg!!!! I won´t explain how but it was awesome! Tagg and I went out to Tahuexco to invite a bunch of people to church and put a baptismal date with a family that we have been teaching! Well on the way back we had to drive through the flooded road and the car got destroyed!!!! i think I got water in the engine. Well we were stuck in like the middle of nowhere. We prayed and everything and some mechanics came to help us haha! Well they did not fix it so we had to get a ride to my converts house who lived a mile up the road. they helped us tow the car to their little town. Then it was 8 o´clock at night and we were still like 13 miles from our house and we had to get a ride. But the guy said that his mom was baptized and that he wanted to serve a mission! Well we got home in like 20 minutes and Tagg ended sleeping over. It was awesome!
Then we had to baptize the family in the river the next morning which we did! And we got so burned from the sun haha!
The next day was the conference. The whole mission Presidency came! And the temple President from the Quetzaltenango temple, President Galvez! i directed the meeting, sung in the choir and gave a talk! And the entire time I was in a suit and it was 100000 degrees! But we had 120 people attend and it was insane! My convert A from Tahuexco came and it turns out that the son of the family that we baptized is actually A son! A is my first convert in La Maquina and attends in the group in Tahuexco. He had no idea that his son was even going to church let alone that he got baptized! What a miracle!
Anyways in the end we had 17 investigators attend the conference and we have 5 people that are going to get baptized soon! Before I leave! And President Goodman hasn´t even gotten mad at me for the car. it was an accident.} And, I gave Elio the Melchizedek Priesthood! It was so cool! It was an awesome week! They are looking at the car right now, only the mission mechanics can look at it!
Anyways that is the highest attendance that La Maquina has had in like 2 years! So cool!
So I don´t know if you have ever heard of the game Risk. Elder Russell has it and it turns out that I'm pretty freaking good! Elder Tagg and I are still in the middle of a game. We played for three hours and we are still at a stand still. We took a picture so we can continue next Sunday. The key is to get Alaska and then you will never lose. Those dudes got bears and stuff to defend.
Well we had an awesome week! Jo and his family are going to get baptized this weekend and we are going to get them married! We are also getting the car again this week to prepare for the conference this week! We have to have an attendance of 100 or President is going to kill me!
Ju is going to get baptized my last Saturday in the mission and Se and her son Gi are preparing for the 29th! We are also trying really hard with this family from Tahuexco that has gone to church many times but they need to get married and everything. We will probably put a fecha with them tomorrow or Wednesday! But yeah we are doing good! I hope to baptize like 10 people before I go home! That would be awesome! Elio is getting the Priesthood this week which is awesome and he will officially be my second councilor! And he will be able to bless his family and awesome stuff like that! He´s doing great right now! I interviewed the pregnant 16 year old yesterday! I feel so bad for her! She is having it so rough at school!!! The branch is doing better, though. The attendance average has increased a lot! I am actually really excited! We are ordaining people to the Priesthood left and right!
But yeah everything is going good! I can´t believe James and Colin are home! They are awesome! Tell them I say hi!
My camera can´t connect to this computer! It is so lame! Next week though I will send you all the pics!
´´But tonight I'm gonna give in one last time Rock you strong in these arms of mine! Forget all the regrets that re bound to follow´´
Ha ha Elder Hastings, Elder Heath and I were singing that song today. I won´t see Elder Hastings for a while because today is his last day! So sad! I love that kid! And Elder Heath has transfers so that´s really sad too! But yeah we´re singing baggy songs haha!
Well we had just a grand week altogether! Ch and Ga got baptized! It was so great! They showed up like and hour late but that´s okay! Elder Heath and I were tempted to have a hot tub party in the baptismal font after (even though the water is really cold) but we decided it would probably be a little irreverant. I don´t know if we would go to heck but I didn´t want to find out haha!
Also Jo and his wife are going to get married and baptized! What a blessing! They are the investigators whose house burned down. But we got permission to help them buy a bed and stuff so they can stop sleeping on the floor and they were really happy. But they are good people and I´m really happy that they´re doing it! I hope they feel really good in the Church. They´ll receive a ton of blessings. We are also trying to get their son to accept as well which should be a little challenge but I know he´ll do it! So that´s good!
We had the highest attendance of all my time in La Maquina yesterday! 66! Like the route. Like the song that I think Rascal Flatts sings maybe!
I´m going to miss Elder Hastings but it will only be for a short moment! He´s studying at BYU! So we´ll romp when we get back. I can´t believe this is my last transfer! Pray for me that I will baptize 1 million people my last month! I want to go out with a bang like Hiroshima.
Have a fun fourth of july! Tell the family I´ll bring them some cheap crappy tequila from Guatemala. Just kidding. Love you!!!! I will write you next week! Thanks for everything! I´ll take those parasite pills diligently!