To answer Mom´s many questions I will give you a run down of the office schedule. We wake up in the morning go running (Elder Petersen and I), eat, shower, start studying at 8:00 and leave for the office at 8:30 in our truck (it is a Hilux, not allowed in the States, very fun to drive especially when we are on the road at 4 in the morning and no one is on the road, don´t worry I keep it safe). We get to the office start to work until lunch time and sometimes call in lunch, other times go to a Guatemalan cafeteria or comedor as they are called. Very delicious if you have lived in Guatemala for a year. Quite coincedentally I´ve done just that. We then leave the office at 3:30 or 4:00 to work and we don´t have dinner until night time where I usually eat a peanut butter and honey (jelly if I want to change things up) sandwhich with only one piece of bread. Toasted. It is very good. So that is a little run down of the schedule for you, hope you enjoy.
This week has been a test and a reward of patience the same time. I have grown up with the idea that hard work and good intentions bring results, a mentality that sometimes lacks a little of the patience that I am here to learn. As you know, I have been working hard with Elder Cruz to find investigators and help the investigators that we have progress. What we have ran into is people dropping us due to talking with their pastor, not wanting to go to church, not wanting to hear us in the first place, etc. (I might note that every time we are denied in a contact Elder Cruz starts singing the song raindrops keep falling on my head which he learned from Spiderman 2, it makes me laugh everytime). Anyway we talked about it a lot and have just been able to figure out what we are doing wrong. Right as I feel I am becoming the best teacher that I have been in my mission, with the result that I feel I know better how to help investigators, there aren´t any investigators to apply this to. As is usual with me, I started worry about what was going on in the area too much, instead of focusing on what the Lord really has blessed us with. The realization came to me in this week that sometimes we are going to be doing our best, and things will not go the way we expect. This is when we need to exercise patience, knowing that we can only do our best and the Lord will do the rest, in His time. I really think I was being slightly selfish in how I was expecting things to fall into my lap. I really just needed to look at what the Lord had given me and be grateful for that, always working harder to see what more is in store, but accepting the fact that if it doesn´t come I just need to wait. It really has been a good experience allowing me to see that in my mission I have had the experience to see so much change in people, something I´m so grateful for having seen.
Anyway after having a struggle this last week, we were counting on José coming to church. He didn´t show. He left his house in the morning and wasn´t there. We were devastated. Something in the lesson we had last night though was incredible and we found out why he didn´t go. First off José felt terrible after he had promised us that he was going to go. We started to ask him about why he didn´t go. He started out nervously telling us that he didn´t have any nice shoes and so he had gone to buy a pair that morning because he didn´t want to go in tennis shoes. We could tell there was something else. After a few questions, he started to tell us in a shaky voice that he doesn´t feel worthy right now to go to church. He said he has been looking for the truth for so long and that he feels as if he has found it, he feels unworthy to go. I can´t go into any detail due to the request of the missionary department and some things they sent out about confidentiality, but he has a big weight on his shoulders that he has not been able to get off for years due to something he has not been able to stop doing. We had an incredible talk about repentence and how somebody truly can change their life if they are willing to do so. Something clicked. He told us he felt hope now, that he could really do this. He promised us he would go to church this Sunday. He said he wants nothing more than to get rid of the guilt he feels. He said he just wants to feel clean again. I think I truly do take for granted the knowledge that I have of this gospel, and the atonement of Jesus Christ. The light we saw in him was incredible when he was able to have that spark of hope. He knows it will be hard, he knows it is going to take time, but he is a very humble man and trusted us enough to share these things, showing us that it doesn´t matter where he is, he can change if he really is willing to do so. I hope that in a month or two I come to find that he is part of the reason I have been working in this area for this time. Maybe everything is going how one would hope a year into his mission, but I am happy that I have the chance to work with José who I know really can change if he continues with the attitude he currently has.
Anyway I hope everything is well. Thank you everybody for always supporting me and making sure to write me frequently. I love you and hope that all is going well. Mom thanks but I´m fine with what I can buy here, I would love a few current photos of the family printed off and put in there if you could. I guess I could take the time to print them but itjust so much cooler to recieve them in a package.