I spent New Years Eve just like I did last year, except this time with members! There’s a little patio that separates the Barrientos house and ours, so they put a little party there (sorry my English sucks). It’s a tradition here to smash a piñata of an old man that has a sign saying “2014”, so they demolished that and we were up until 1 am. I was exhausted and wanted to sleep, but in Guatemala that’s not an option. After a 10-minute round of endless fireworks, all the neighbors go around hugging each other and crying. I’m not sure why they see it as a sad moment, but everyone perceives time and traditions differently.
It’s also a good opportunity to make new goals, but not just ideas or dreams; a goal is an objective that you are determined to accomplish, even if it requires making goals to complete a goal. It’s all for our eternal progression!
Emilio was supposed to be baptized last week, but got sick. Thankfully he was fine this week to be able to get baptized! The baptismal services here in Ayutla ward are really special, and I think its because we have more support from the members and the converts are more faithful. I’ll be sad to leave the area/ward on the 21st.
I’ve had some great experiences in my personal study lately, as I’ve delved in the Book of Mormon I’ve discovered many treasures that apply to my individual circumstances and help clarify the purpose of my trials. The brother of Jared is an excellent example of being guided by the Holy Spirit. When the Lord gave him the commandment to construct ships and cross the sea, he not only followed through, he made them EXACTLY as the Lord had instructed. They were PREPARED (Ether 6:7). As they were tossed through the gigantic waves, there were many times where their perfectly-built ships submerged deep into the ocean. This doesn’t mean there were defects in the ships, neither was it punishment. They were moments that tried their faith. All part of the plan. Not ONCE were they not guided by the Lord – He used those instances to allow their faith to perform miracles. As they cried to the Lord, He brought them out from the depths of the sea. The trials and “depths” we face may not be a result of our faults or errors. Everything we face is for our eternal progression and is part of the divine plan of a loving Heavenly Father. He just requires us to trust Him and call His name when we need Him most.