The other day I woke up craving Subway… never thought I would say that. I just need to be sent to Mazate (the golden land of Taco Bell and Subway) where I can enjoy a little bit of Merica.
Today marks 8 months of being a missionary! Honestly, I feel like I have been here longer – maybe because I feel like I should be with the group that is going home in December (including Hna Nuñez, Hna Goddard, Hna Webster… basically all my comps). But of course, there is still a lot to do and I have much to improve!
This past week was the Branch Conference, which I didn’t think was THAT big of a deal until they busted out a Western-themed activity on Friday that was super impressive (for Guatemala); including arm wrestling, a “mechanical bull”, prize-worthy games where you can win a baby chicken, loud country music, and dancing. And the best part… I taught 300 people the dance to Cotton Eyed Joe. It was a blast! Then they taught me some weird repetitive Guatemalan dance… remind me to teach y’all when I get back. But the BEST part was that both families we are teaching came, as well as the majority of our single investigators. They all LOVED it.
Also, a 30-year-old named José got baptized on Saturday! The other Hermanas contacted him in their area, but he lives in ours. While we were teaching Moi one day, he just randomly came up and said “Sorry I couldn’t go to church with you guys last Sunday, but Ill go if you come get me.” So we went for him that next Sunday, and he loved it! He had been baptized in two other churches, so we were a little skeptical that he just wanted a baptism in every church… but he said he was waiting for God to touch his heart about a correct baptism. When he finally decided to do it (on Thursday), we had his interview on Friday and he was baptized the next day! Cool beans! I can honestly say he is a man with “an eye single to the glory of God”.
A week ago, the daughter of Julio de Leon (who was baptized in the river in April) died from malnutrition and vomiting. Monica, the 21-year-old daughter, was the one that gave the Hermanas the referral of her family after being less active in the Church for many years. It was heartbreaking. The parents couldn’t even go to the burial. We went with a group of members to give them boxes of food and flowers, trying to console and support them in their time of grief. As we have visited them throughout the week, we can see their testimony of the Plan of Salvation and of temples growing each time we see them. I read a talk once titled “We Can’t Understand the Pain, but We Can Understand the Plan”. As difficult as life’s circumstances are, this time of probation is short. The things we suffer won’t last forever. Thanks to Jesus Christ, there is hope in times of depression, sorrow, trials, and death.