Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hey Pearson Family,
This week was a little hard. We have really been trying hard to focus ourselves in our area and find new investigators, and as we have been doing this, and seeing great progress in the Hernandez Estrada Family, Felix completely lost all progress that he has made over the last 6 weeks that I´ve been here. He had been progressing and progessing, reading in the Book of Mormon, goingto church, trying to apply te things that he has been learning in church, but the moment we mentioned that he had to get divorced from his old wife, he stopped doing all of the above. His wife Arselia has told us that he has completely turned back to all his old habits and has started to act even more child-like in the house, resorting to trying to intimidate her 10 year old kid that she has from another marriage. The last teaching appointment we had where this all came out, Felix just seemed miserable as he hard-headedly told us that life was how it is and he couldn´t change it and wasn´t willing to make an effort. He said that his wife is going to make legal problems for him and being baptized wasn´t worth facing his past. It is incredible the difference that learning and accepting the gospel makes in somebody´s life. He was progressing so rapidly and we could all notice it, including his family, but he has chosen to completely go the other way asking his wife and daughter Astrid to return the copies of the Book of Mormon which we had given them.
This was very disappointing for Elder Lydiksen and I, because we both felt that we just had to drop him. Until he is willing to change this and face up to his past he cannot progress. We tried talking about the importance of the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, and the restored truths about the family that come with that very restoration, and he wouldn´t listen. Arselia and Astrid still want to get baptized so we are hoping that everything will turn out well with them and that Felix will come around a little later down the road. Arselia obviously can´t get baptized until they get married so we will see what happens. We can only do our best to apply this gospel to their lives, but we cannot force anyone to accept it, especially someone who has already felt that it is true. It is sad but were not getting down about it and just tryin to look for the next prepared family.
Speaking of that Elder Lydiksen and I have been talking a lot about what we want to do to better the area where we are and we are feeling really good about the changes we are making. He is a good elder and I´m kind of nervous to see who I recieve as a companion next change. So anyways, we are working hard, trying to better, and waiting for the results to come.
Guess what guys! I went to Santiago Atitlan yesterday and it was incredible. It is so green up there and very tropical. Elder Moore my good fried and the AP right now, served there and was able to learn Tzutujil a mayan dialect that they speak there. It is really cool because it is one of the only dialects that is being preserved because the people are so proud of their culture. The majority have no desire to speak spanish and don´t learn it. It was really bizarre to be back at square one not being able to understand anybody, but it was a cool experience. The lake is gorgeous and I will be sending pictures of course (too bad it was clouded over and we couldn´t see the volcano). I bought some scof as it is called which is the type of pants that the men wear there. I will be sending pictures of that as well. It is really cool to see a preserved culture but at the same time sad to see how it is being lost. I guess you can´t blame them though, they see a better lifestyle and they realize that the way to achieve that is to change what they grew up with. The new generation is really losing a lot of the oldcustoms, with the exception of the language which is really good.
Anyway, everything is great as always. This country is amazing, I just wish you could all meet the incredible people here. They are so kind and so accepting of everybody (an obvious generalization but for the most part true). Spanish is a great language, Guatemalans are great people, and the restored church of Jesus Christ is true. I love you all!

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