CALLED TO SERVE FOR THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS AUGUST 2015-AUGUST 2017

Monday, February 29, 2016

Week #28

Hey sorry I just spent like 20 minutes praying that this stupid thing will start working! It told me that the server was down so I tried like a million things to try to fix it! And then out of no where it started working but I hope you get all of my emails! This week was so miraculous! But really sad at the same time! It strengthened my testimony but other than that it was a really hard week and I have never been more frustrated in my entire life
   So Saturday was supposed to be the day that M got baptized! And she was planning on doing it and all excited and everything. It was her little boy´s birthday on Wednesday so we bought a cake for him because M is really poor. They sometimes only eat tortillas and water for dinner which is really sad. It´s because her husband doesn´t have a job and when he does side jobs he just goes and gets drunk. So we were fasting for her and everything because her husband wouldn´t give her permission to be baptized and usually when we try to talk to him he is drunk. She tells us that sometimes when he gets mad he pulls a machete on her which sucks. Getting divorced would be too hard. He is going to have a lot to answer for if he doesn´t repent. Well we went over to her house Wednesday to celebrate her son´s birthday. So we get there and she told us that her husband finally found a job for a really good company. We were fasting and praying that her husband would get a job so that he wouldn´t drink as much! It was such a miracle and she knew it! So we asked her if we could talk to her husband and she didn´t want us to but we knew that we could convince him to say yes. So we talked with him for a while and it was a good talk because he wasn´t drunk. We asked him for permission and he told us if she really wanted to then she could so we were all happy. So the next day we started making plans for the baptism and all that fun stuff and she told us that she was to scared and she didn´t have the desire anymore. I told her that if she didn´t get baptized the blessings wouldn´t come to her family that they need. But she still decided no! I told her if she really wanted to follow Jesus that she needed to be baptized but nothing worked! I literally used every scripture that talks about baptism and she did not care at all! So of course God provided a way for her to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized and she rejected it! And her husband lost his job and now they are poorer than ever! I feel so bad for her! But we warned her! We told her everything! She freaking broke my heart! But life goes on.
    We had 11 people committed to go to the church and when we passed by all of their houses they either hid, weren´t there or came up with some excuse! I was so mad! I literally thought that all 11 were going to come. We worked so hard this week and I feel like we have nothing to show for it. It turns out one of our awesome investigators is a lesbian which is awesome (sarcastic). So that was pretty much my week. We lost about 7 progressing investigators this week. It was rough. I have never worked harder for a worse finish in my entire life. It is like somebody that runs a marathon and sprints 26 miles and dies right in front of the finish line! I wanted to cry yesterday. It sucked big time.
  Anyways don't swim in the water in Alcatraz there are sharks. If I were you I would stay in the snow of Utah because it is beautiful and cold. Today we went roller skating which was so much fun. My poor companion has bruises all over his body from falling. It reminded me of the time that I went to a party in high school and I jumped like 50 garbage cans on roller skates. The Glory days! Like the song.
   Love you email me!
 
I asked Bryson what he eats everyday and this is his response:
 
Everyday I eat scrambled eggs and beans, in the morning, frosted mini wheats or cookie crisp, for lunch whatever the members want to give me or Taco Bell! It isn´t anything too bad. A lady gave me a heaping bowl of a stew of cow hooves which was not very good but it was edible so I ate it.
 
I asked Bryson if he gets to drink milk in Guatemala and here was his response:
 
We have a fridge! So it´s in a box but I put it in the fridge! But it tastes good once there is a little flavor form the sugar in the  milk! I can tolerate it. A little kid came up to me and asked me if I wanted to buy milk. I told him I would have to think about it because sometimes people put water in the milk and I´m a gringo so I get sick really easy. He said "yeah we put water in the milk" I said "that´s what I thought!" I told him I need to see if the cow weighs more than 800 pounds and if it does I will buy some. My investigators were right there and they thought I was crazy because nobody gets my humor here.


    Monday, February 22, 2016

    Week #27-2 weeks worth!

    I prayed this morning that I would be blessed enough to hear from my missionary after not hearing from him for 2 weeks! It was brutal. He ended up emailing super early today, so that made me happy. I asked Bryson how he was feeling and this was his response: "I am literally getting fat which is good but I don´t want to be fat. I thought that i did but I don´t. My six pack got eaten by tortillas and chicken. I know I need to weigh myself because it is appearant that I am getting bigger! "
    Here are his letters from the last 2 weeks!

    February 15:
     
    Hey mom! This week was alright but kind of rough. It was a good week for the first 6 days but yesterday was pretty bad.
       So last Monday we went out to work and we taught a lesson to an investigator named D who is cool but her parents are not the greatest so it will be hard to get permission to baptize her. But after we were going to another appointment, and I had a feeling to go talk with a family that we had contacted earlier in the week! They weren´t really positive when we contacted them so I didn´t want to go but I thought maybe we should go talk to them anyways. So we went and they guy was like, "I´ve been waiting for you guys all day!" which never happens. Anyways it turns out that this guy and his wife had a day set to get married and to get baptized about a year ago but then the missionaries who were teaching them both had changes and the new missionaries forgot to teach them. So the guy waited for like 3 weeks in the morning for the missionaries to take him to church but they never came so he stopped going to church. Crazy! Anyways we hope that we can get them to church and get them married and baptized soon. They couldn´t go to church this Sunday because he had to work but he told us that he was going to drop his work on Sundays. So hopefully they turn out good. He wants to go on a mission with his wife when he gets older and wanted to get married in the temple! So hopefully everything works out good.
       Also M for some reason wasn´t home when we went to bring her to church yesterday so that was really rough because now we have to put her baptism off another week. But hopefully on the 27th her and her son will get baptized. We talked with her husband yesterday when he was way drunk. He said a lot of bad words and I feel really bad for her because the husband beats her sometimes and he is a member for crying out loud. I realized all the fathers here beat their kids. I got mad at a member yesterday for beating his 2 year old and told him that President Hinkley said that that is top 5 of the greatest sins of all time (I have no idea if he said that but maybe he did). It´s a real problem here. But yeah we are just working to find some new investigators who are positive. Yesterday we contacted like 1000 people yesterday and they were all Evangleicos and did not want to talk to us at all. It was rough. It was a rough day because we couldn´t find any of our investigators in the morning yesterday so we had none in the church. It was a heart breaker.
          Hopefully this week goes better. Today we went exploring a little in Samayac which is the area of Elder Johnson and me and Elder Johnson saw enchanted candles from a witch cave so I am kind of scared. It was probably a bad idea. I will send you pictures of the candles.
       Anyways love you guys! Freak I was reading your lyrics to the Psych theme song and I was like what the heck this sounds like the Psych theme song and then I was like, It is the Psych theme song! I love that episode when everybody is in love with Sean because he is in the soap opera. Literally everyone is obsessed with soap operas here.
       Anyways I´ll send pictures but write me fast.
     
     
    February 22nd:
     
    There weren´t very many big highlights this week. We found some awesome people and a lot of families so hopefully they can freaking get baptized! This Saturday we have the baptism for poor M. And it is literally 700000 degrees here right now and they tell me it is just going to get worse.
       So last Monday I had an ingrown toenail and it was the worst thing of all time so I decided to perform surgery on my toe with my pocketknife and toenail clippers! It was literally the most painful thing of all time but my toe feels better. I didn´t want the nurses to do it so I thought that it would be better if I did it. It felt like in Rambo: First Blood when Rambo gets cut and then sews up his own wound. I think I am more of a man because of it.
       A few days ago we helped this old man chop a freaking mountain of wood which was really hard because their axes here really suck and it was 5000 degrees. I was literally sweating more than I have ever sweated in my entire life! I looked like Josh at school dances. And it was at the begining of the day so the rest of the day I was just a huge sweat monster. It was rough. But at least I know if the whole school thing doesn´t work out when I get home I can just grow my beard out and be a lumber jack up in the Uintas.
        My companion is doing better with the whole "talking in the lessons" thing. One of our investigators said "why does he never talk" in front of my companion and he was sad. He told me that he is trying to be better. What a good kid!
    The catholics are starting off "la semana santa" with parades of Jesus carrying his cross and stuff. And get this in Samayac they actually do a live reenactment of the crucifiction! They pay a dude a ton of money to get drunk and carry the cross and get whipped! And then they just tie him to the cross. But he actually gets drunk so he doesn´t feel the whip! Freak I want to go to Samayac!
       
    Mango season is starting which is cool. A nice hermana is going to make me a vest out of that beautiful skirt that I bought and wore last week. Speaking of that! Appearantly it is illegal to dress like that! I had no idea but a cop told me that it was illegal and was about to give me a ticket! It is a big part of their culture for the women to wear skirts out of that kind of material which is called "corte" so I probably shouldn´t have worn it all day but what are they going to do? Kick me off the football team? Ha ha 
       Anyways it was a good week and hopefully we get some baptisms for hecks sake! It it too much to ask?! 
       Anyways love you! Hopefully you don´t ignore all of my emails like you did last week! Just kidding!

    Cave in Samayac



    Standing on top of a fountain

    In the cave at Samayac

    A "witches candle" in the cave

    Hiking to the Cave
    The "Sacred Grove" of Guatemala


    chickens the ward mission leader raises to cock fight

                                    
    Kids gambling....Bryson was appalled 



    The ward mission leaders dog named Perla

    A park where the whole District set up a "Book of Mormon Museum" to teach the people.
     

    Tuesday, February 16, 2016

    Week #26-Church Email server is having problems

    Well, I didn't get an email from Bryson this week. From what I've found on the Missionary Mommas Facebook page, about half of all the Moms, with kids out of the US, didn't get emails. I did, however, find some pictures posted by another Retalhuleu mom on Facebook. So, this is all I've got this week
    :(
    With zone leader Elder Kahl

    Apparently they hiked to a cave




    Monday, February 8, 2016

    Week #25

    So it was sad to see Elder Varela go but whatever that is life! But I got my new companion named Elder Me from El Salvador he is an awesome kid and I´m training him! Well I´m finishing up the second half of his training. He was in the hottest zone in all of the mission and now he is here in Mazate.
       Anyways he is so cool! He used to be a gangster in El Salvador and he also played in a really good soccer league too so obviously he wants to play soccer with the ward but I hate playing soccer and we have to work ha ha. But anyways he told me some of the stories from his past, he is a twin!!! His dad named him and his twin brother the same name!! The have the exact same name and they looked, and dressed exactally the same!  He is shorter than me and pretty stout I would say. But he has three dogs and they are all bred to fight other dogs. He says he hates it because he doesn´t like it when the dogs die, which is always. But he´s the real deal. He also likes 50 cent and has a Jehova´s wittness girlfriend which is funny. He is an awsome kid. I love him. 
        It was a rough week, changes always jack stuff up. For some reason our investigator Y, disappeared and she was really positive. I have no idea where she went and nobody can get a hold of her, I hope she is alright. But she has a baptisimal date for the 17th so hopefully she turns up before then.
        We have been teaching a lady who´s husband is a member of the church, but he is less active and really alcoholic. We found him one night and walked him to his house so he didn´t get robbed because it was late at night and people love robbing drunk people. But we walked him to his house and started teaching his wife and then the husband started screaming the most awful stuff of all time at his wife and she started crying. But we taught her the plan of salvation and the Spirit was really strong. But she went to church and seemed like she enjoyed it. She has family that are active members as well so hopefully her and her son get baptized the 20th. 
       As far as other stuff. We aren´t having a lot of luck finding new people because this week is like a huge party week here in Guatemala and literally everybody is in the center of Mazate getting drunk. But may the Lord be with us this week. It is Carnaval here.
       This is the first year I haven´t watched the superbowl and I´m not even sad. Kingston is the cutest baby ever! I know a lot of those people from our ward. One of them got kicked in the face by Neo. Good for Jake Foster. A lot of people in my zone know him they will be happy to hear that he is back. Hermana Moore is one of the greatest sister missionaries of all time. Good for Annie Giles!
       Anyways love you! Email me fast!
     
    I asked Bryson how he feels and this was his response:
     
    I feel good! It is the first week that I haven´t been pooping liquid in nearly 4 months. It is really fun to train! I have never been so outgoing in my whole life. I found a sick hat in the megapaca. I realized that I should just make grilled cheese when I am hungry and it has been working out so far. I also weigh 154 pounds! I am getting fat mom!!!! I gained like 15 pound in two weeks. But we are going to the gym so I will work of my belly. I found funyuns in the store that were way expensive but I bought them and took a picture. I´ll send you pictures right now.
    beautiful area in his mission

    The beloved AM Crunch wrap

    Bryson & Elder Ramirez getting ready to see if they have changes

    Eating a whole pineapple

    A family who helps the missionaries a lot

    Bryson with "frosted tips" from tortilla flour

    Beloved Funyuns

    Holding an iguana
     

    Tortilla Flour

    Sister Mendoza and Bryson
     

    A Steelers yogurt?? What the......

    A pretty stream in his area

    Bryson doing "the Lebron James" with flour instead of chalk, haha

    Whole Pineapples for $1!
     

    Tuesday, February 2, 2016

    Week #24

    Oh my gosh I have never enjoyed life more in my life! This week was so much fun! The mission is good stuff! And oh my gosh the baby actually looks cute! He isn´t incredibly ugly like most newborns are! (Bryson got a new nephew on Feb. 1st )
       So first we had interchanges in the zone and I usually hate interchanges because they screw up the groove of everything and this week we couldn´t afford to have a groove screwed. But I got paired up with Elder Johnson and we worked our butts off in my area! I can´t think of a more fun day in my mission than Tuesday with Elder Johnson and Wednesday in the morning. So Elder Johnson is from Preston (where Napolean Dynamite was filmed) and he is this ginger dude who literally is the funniest person of all time! So we worked in the day and in the night I couldn´t sleep and Elder Johnson is a sleepwalker! He did it three times in the night and I thought he was possesed for sure! One of the times he freaking was just watching me standing at the side of my bed. And another time he just jumped out of bed and sprinted outside! Outside of the house! I couldn´t believe it! Anyways in the morning we went to Taco Bell and got the beloved AM Crunch wrap for breakfast. It was to live for!
        And then we got the videos from our families and they showed them in front of the whole zone! I was so nervous because I thought I was going to cry. But GOOD YAMS I HAVE NEVER BEEN MORE IMPRESSED IN MY ENTIRE LIFE!! LIterally my whole zone thinks that you guys are the greatest, most hilarious family which is true! Everyone´s parents sent them like scriputres and spiritual messages and you guys sent the sickest rap I have ever seen! Elder Ellgren was laughing so hard, everyone was! You guys are the best.
         then Saturday I baptized Kevin and Victor which was great. I thought Victor was going to run away again but everything turned out perfect and they both showed up. I forgot to take off my name tag the first time when I baptized Victor so I had to do it again! Why would nobody tell me?! And they showed up for their confirmations and everything! Also we baptized over 200 people this month so the videos worked! The President if freaking inspired!
        Also Varela is leaving pretty much tomorrow! His family is going to come which is cool because I will get to meet them. I´m going to miss Elder Varela. I love that dude! 
        And the best part of the week was three seconds ago when I saw the cute little pictures of tiny, Kingston! (Bryson's new nephew) Every time I think of him, I think of that song where it says, ´´Hey-o Sean, yes you mista Kingston´´ I don´t know why but that is what I am going to say to him when I meet him. 
         Anyways best week ever. Also I heard some Van Halen this week in the house of a member. He loves old american rock, especially Queen but he likes Van Halen too so that was nice. Love you I will send pics and congratulations on the whole being a grandma again ha ha! Love you guys send Shalese my love. I almost cried when I saw the picture of her with the baby! She looks so good! Stay healthy! Love all of you.
    Baptism of Kevin and Victor (not sure who is who)

    Baptism of Kevin and Victor

    Bryson and Pitufa

    Bryson fake eating a scorpion

    They have to put blue paint in the font because the water is so gross

    "The best drink ever" according to Bryson

    Some little kid who likes taking pics of Bryson, so Bryson took a pic of him


    Scorpion they killed

    Sunset at La Plaza America


    Taquitos a member taught him to make