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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Letter #13

Hey the power keeps going off due to some rain! haha I'm just going to send this fast so that you know in case it does.  I am writing another one with love so that you might get a big one.

Thank you for your prayers!!  There are times that I feel like I’m not in my body saying what I am saying.  I like to think that is just all of my blessings just coming into one moment.  Just yesterday I did better on my own than I ever have.  Elder Mar and I usually do splits and it is super stressful for me sometimes.  But we have a lot of work to get done.  I went up to an aldea named patzite with just a member at my side.  All of the appointments fell through so I was left to just figure out what to do with this member for 4 hours.   I did so well that it hard to say that it was not just a blessing from God.  There are times when I cannot see any miracles out here.  This was not one of those days.  I found twelve people in total who want to receive us.  There are possibly more because they all have families.  I preached in the street with a family.  I know that they felt the spirit.  I know this because at first they just thought I was some kid that knew little Spanish.  I spoke more fluently than I ever had before.  I started the quick lesson with a question.  Where did we come from before this life?  I then used jeramias 1:5 to impress bring the people to know that I am serious.  That I know where we came from and that I know that he has a plan for each of us.  They then gave me their number and said that I could come back or call them at anytime.  

I’m seeing this as less of the work of baptism and more as the work of salvation.  There are not many who I think could really be baptized straight on the spot unless it was meant to be.  That is okay with me right now.  I’m here to do the work that I am assigned to do.  Not the work that I want to do.  That doesn’t mean that I try hard to get these people into the font. 

That is so weird hearing about how we will soon have 3 Miles family missionaries out at the same time.  Michael Josh is going to love it!  This is an experience that I think everyone should have.  Say congratz to Heather for me.

Jenna is going to a dance!!!  How crazy!!  What is his name?  What is the dude like?  Do I need to come back to teach him a lesson?  Is he a good guy?  What is his email?  haha.  I’m sure Jenna will be smart.  She always is.

Holy vacation!!  That sounds so nice. For p day we went to a vista of the Waters of Mormon.  That was cool.  I’ll send pics if I can.

Our pets are the best.  Every animal here is dirty and mangie.  It is bien sucky.  I hate not being able to able to pet anything here.  You can’t really lay down with the pets here.

For a Christmas package... nic. no se. haha.  I always have things in mind.  Some of the good deoderant from the states.  It is pricey stuff down here for being in guate.  They only sell half sticks and its like 35 quets ahha.  Breaking the bank.  Maybe just some money to live it up a little down here.  Idk I’ll think about it all.

I’m going to send this real fast on account of the power outages.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Letter #12

Things have been going as normal.  Just work that doesn't feel like work but that is tiring.  This mission is actually a lot more how I pictured it now.  Just a couple of punk kids going around trying to preach the word.  Really we can only do our best as kids trying to be men and leave the rest to God.

I have been able to really figure out how to live here with the money that I have for the month!  I know what food to buy and where to buy and at what price.  I basically eat like a king every breakfast.  I have some cereal, bread, banana, PB and J with pineapple jelly, eggs if I feel like it, and some orange juice stuff.  Everything here is super cheap.  I get caught up in buying something that is like 10 Q and think that it is a ton!  But really that is like 1.50 in USD.  It is nice knowing what I need to get so that I dont have to bug my comp who doesnt want to be bugged for silly things like which cereal is better.  The bus fair is easier to pay for aswell.  I dont need to really ask for prices all that much anymore.  Besides if I do, I will probably get ripped off by one of the bus drivers.

I love my timbuk2 bag.  The thing is just great haha.  My things do not get wet even in the worst of rain.  That is a huge advantage when I have to lug around a lot of very important books and papers.  Also the shoulder bag thing is actually quite comfortable to me.  Most of the missionaries out here just use backpacks.  

Today was our zones chance to go down to Xela and get goods from Walmart.  That place is a Godsent haha.  I just love how there is variety and sooo much stuff.  I regret every time that I didn't go out to the store with my parents when they asked me to.  

This week I am living in a trio.  A companionship in the area next to ours was broken up early because one of them is going to be secratary in Xela.  He had to leave early in order to learn all about how to do his new job.  We are left to cover two pretty huge areas with just 3 missionaries.  Really we are just working Chirijox haha.  The missionary that is visiting us is named Elder Chudleigh.  He is from Idaho and is quite a cool kid.  It is nice having a third person around.  Especially someone who can understand english well.  I try to speak spanish when I can but English is just so comfortable.  I also think that Elder Mar's english is getting a lot better now that he can just listen to us talk.  Mar has a test coming up to see if he is fluent in enlgish.  For that reason I try to talk to him in English when I can.

This week we actually ran into a few people that asked us to invite them to church.  They didn't end up going but it was really cool to see that there are people who can see that this church is different.  When it comes down to it this isn't even a church.  It is the gospel of Jesus Christ.  And so it looks a little different from what people are used too.  There are lots of Catholics and Evangelicals here.  When we ask them if they want to hear our message usually they say something like we are catholics.  I then ask them what that means.  I ask them why they are Catholic.  That seems to get them thinking.  Really religion without the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost doesn't make sense to me.  It becomes tradition and something that separates people.  Revelation and the peace of the whisperings of my spirit brother are the only  things that keep the real knowledge of Jesus Christ and the plan of our Father alive and in proper perspective.  Without this, the principles of Christianity become empty.  Just a way to live and then die.  Live and die thinking that something is true in the same way that an atheists thinks that there is no God.  Religion without revelation and atheism are the same thing.  Just presumptions.  It is a sad thing to talk about.  I want these people to really know God.  That HE in fact will SPEAK to these people.  And all they have to do a bit of homework.  That is it.  Just pray to know.  Read to know.  Go to church to know.  Live Gods laws to know.  And with this knowing comes eternal families, and eternal hope in Jesus Christ.  

I found a white guy in alaska.  That was super wierd.  He was there with the Peace Corp.  We chatted for a bit and I gave him a pamphlet about the plan of salvation.  That was the first time that I every shared the Gospel in English.  It was super wierd haha.  Good stuff though.  I probably won't ever see that guy ever again but it was a good experience.  I prayed that he would at one point read the booklet.  What are the odds that two white people would meet and talk in English in Alaska- Guatemala about God?  

The bread here is sooooo good.  We went to this place called Xela Pan today.  I felt like it was pricey until I looked the price in USD.  I bought the best bread that I have ever eaten in my life for the price of 2 dollars haha.  And I have a lot of it.  I freaken love this counrty sometimes haha!  I have some bread that is filled with jelly and some with chocolate.  I then have this bread called piedra.  That means stone.  It is super super delicious haha.

I am on the hunt for cheap stuff for christmas gifts.  I have decided that I am not going to be sending birthday gifts.  I will just send one main thing to my fam each christmas.  Sorry Fam!!  It just costs a lot to send stuff.  I am just looking for the best slingshots and the the coolest berret for a girls hair haha.  There is a lot of really cool and very traditional stuff here in Noalla.  

The Quiche here is really cool.  But in reality it is a curse for the poeple that only know that one language.  They can't get good jobs, the can't communicate with anyone outside of like a 30 mile radius.  The language is different everywhere and it really hurts everyone that didn't have the chance to be educated.  I can see this country being a super power in 100 years.  Really it has potential.  But just things like language barrier and lack of desire for education is really putting some of these families in bad places.  Basically, it is just my zone that has this issue to this extent.  There are other places where dialect is spoken but not really to this extent.  The Book of Mormon is not even translated into their language.  It is only completed up to Alma.  

Also if you guys really want to pick me up from Guatemala,  I have no clue what we would do for transportation and a place to sleep.

Oh can you guys send me the emails for Bickmore and Nick.  I wanna see how those guys are holding up.

Thanks for the support.  It is easier to serve knowing that I have such a great family back at home.  I don't need to worry all that much about you guys doing what you are supposed to do.  That is good stuff.

Time to head back to my area Chirijox.  

Love you all,

Elder Miles

Letter #11

General Conference was sooo fast.  Each session felt like 15 minutes or less.  I was kinda let down by that.  But I was not let down by the talks!  One of them made me think of you a lot.  I had written down stuff that I wanted to tell you during the talk.  I don't remember the talk or who it was from but it was about home teaching.  I'm sorry I didn't push to get out with you.  I just was a bump on a log.  I didn't even help a less active kid! In ways it is better that I didn't teach.  I have something to regret and change myself from now.  I think that the lord has his hand in that one.  There was more that I had written down but I don't have my notes with me.  I will just sum things up by saying how grateful I am to know you.  There were times when you would listen to me even though I had no clue about what I was talking about.  Especially when I talked about philosophy or gospel stuff.  Thanks for being there for me.  I know that you have to work a lot in order to support the fam.  I would say that making our time together a little smaller only made it more impactful on me.  Now only Jonny is home.  I am kinda nervous for him.  He is going to go through some pretty crappy times.  I had a hard time without my big bro.  I cant imagine how he is doing without two.  I have no clue what to do about that.

That "Meet the Mormons" movie sounds interesting.  I hope that it shows normal mormon families. The book our search for happiness talks about how understanding is essential for peace.  Hopefully that movie will help and not hinder others understanding of our church.

Love you Dad!!

Letter #10

The answers to your questions:
for breakfast it is now usually cereal and a banana.  I have found some dang cheap cookies though.  So that has been nice haha.  Lunch is taken care of by the ward.  They just hand us a list every Sunday and then we go to the members house and eat.  Usually it is a combination of two:  Soup, rice, beans, chicken, eggs.  There are always some little corn tortillas that are pretty flavorless.  They are filling though. Dinner is usually something like a banana and some bread.  We do have nachos right now though.  We eat that with some ham eggs,beans and hot sauce.

I do have running water and it is pretty clear.  This does not mean that it is safe to drink whatsoever.  We drink out of a large sealed water keg that we buy weekly.

It is a Central American mission requirement for the house to have hot showers.  This does not mean that it is a good shower.  The water smells bad when it is heated.  Also it is just a little electric heater that heats the water at the head.  so you need to have the right pressure to not get burn but still have a stream of water coming out.

My house is actually right by a pretty busy road.   It has the route to Nowala and to the capital.  so there is always just a little traffic.  Not much.  It does get somewhat annoying at night sleeping next to the highway with loud old semi trucks going down the street.

Transportation is generally bus.  They are like elementary buses from the US.  I'm actually pretty sure that they are. The seats hardly fit the people who live here.  I am huge in those seats haha.

Right now Chirijox is pretty dry of progressing investigators.  Although, we have people who will listen to us almost always.  They just don't do what we tell them to.  It is hard to see people feel the spirit and not act on it.  The people just don't understand that the gospel involves a lot of work.

Love you all!!

Elder Miles