Monday, December 13, 2010

Why is Santa Claus white in Guatemala?

Hey everyone!
I´m serious about that question, you would think that a country comprised of solely Latinos would respect their heritage enough to make Santa a Latino as well, but all I´ve seen is white Santa Clauses. On second thought maybe it´s better this way due to the fact that white people are in short supply and if I was ever looking for work one December after my mission I could make bank down here. Now if only I could gain a little weight...
Anyway, this week was really good because Jose finally attended church! We have been talking with Jose very directly this week about his goal to drop his drinking habit the 20th of December and while he still messed up this week we were very grateful for the miracles that occurred to get him to church. First off he was in his house Saturday night for our lesson that we had set with him which was very surprising. Second he only had a little bit of alcohol in him and so he could understand our lesson. Not that he has ever been drunk in a lesson before, but usually he just isn´t there, so we were grateful for that. So because he only had a little Saturday night, he was able to commit to us to go and was able to attend with his two kids.

Jose almost seemed a little bored in church but he told us that he really enjoyed his experience which is a good sign. He is continuing to read and wants to attend next week as well. He is getting more and more serious about his goal with every visit and I think we´re going to set up a baptismal date with him this week. Also his kids loved church which is another huge step for the family. We are hoping that the children as well as the progress of her husband can soften Mariela´s heart to consider that our church might contain the truth and to sincerely pray about it to find out for herself what is the truth. She says she prays but from her actions we can see that it isn´t sincere if she actually is asking if this is the truth.

So that was good and we have high hopes for Jose and his family! The kids are incredible and always remind their Dad about church and about his goal to drop drinking haha. How sad it is that some families have such a bad example of the father and just follow suit when they grow older. I hope the gospel can change that tradition in the Rivas Family. Their names are Yoselin (as in Josaline I think) and Jonathan. Yoselin is 9 years old and Jonathan is 7 years old.

Another good thing this week is that the members are starting to help us and present their friends to us. One , a recent convert who is 18 years old, named Maydi is incredible. She always is trying to set us up with her friends and was successful this week. She finally got her neighbors, a family with a child, to go to her house and hear our message. We were all around a fire and shared a message with the wife because the husband couldn´t be there but we have another lesson with them tonight so we´ll see. THere are others that are giving references and all is well!

I have to run but I love you guys and hope you are enjoying Christmas. I´m so jealous the missionaries there can have ukuleles.


(I told Ben that the missionaries in the Columbus, Ohio mission are allowed to have ukuleles to use to sing with the members in their homes...he loves playing the ukulele!)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Hey everybody!
So first off, Mom wanted me to talk about Antigua! Antigua is about an hour away from Chimaltenango and we went on a P-day. It´s a gorgeous area with an incredible view of the huge volcano here that I forget the name of. It´s a really touristy spot, and so a lot of the places feel like America, and I have to admit, I felt a little baggy for some of the luxuries we take for granted in America haha. It was a lot of fun to look around the shops and everything and I was able to buy a pretty cool shoulder bag thing they have here for 3 bucks. It was a fun trip and it´s a really beautiful cool town, one that we will be sure to visit if you guys come to pick me up.

Anyways we had changes this week and Elder Alberto left which is always hard, because you spend so much time learning and growing and making improvements with one companion, and then you are asked to start all over again with a new companion. My new companion is Elder Martinez and he is from Honduras. With the way things are going now I could have all latino companions my whole mission, which has happened before, that´s weird. Anyways, he´s an Elder that has 17 months and knows it. He´s very obediant which is good, but he doesn´t like to hear what I have to say, and usually just makes decisions without talking to me so that´s been a hard adjustment. He knows how missionary work works, which is good, and I´ll be able to learn a lot from that, but I can tell it´s going to be a struggle to get us to work as a companionship. I´ve comed to realize that with the Latin culture, Elder Tarax was extremely humble, and that this could be a struggle my entire mission, that is, getting my companions to talk openly and work as a companionship, always discussing what we´re going to do, what we´re doing well, what we could improve, etc. He´s a hard worker which is good, but I just haven´t felt very smart in the last week which has been hard. But, there´s a reason I´m here right? and there is always something to learn so I´m trying to figure out what that is. I hope we can start to communicate more and really make things happen in this area.

I´m sure you guys would love to know that Jose Osbaldo, Telma, and the entire family were baptized after I left my first area! Elder Tarax gave me a picture of their baptism at changes and I was almost brought to tears I was so happy. All I could think of was how Elder Tarax and I were having a hard day when our lessons were falling through, and on a whim I just happened to contact this man that was standing outside his house. I remembered how we struggled and worked with Telma and gained her trust and all we had to work with to get them to that point. It is an incredible feeling to see an entire family like that baptized, and Elder Tarax tells me that the testimony of Telma is incredible. They are a family that I know will go on to do great things because of how they yearned to know the truth. It´s dissappointing I couldn´t be there, but it´s all the same. Now they can progress to the temple and be an eternal family, and I can´t even describe how that makes me feel.

Speaking of which Elder Tarax is my new Zone Leader! He´s such a happy guy and I´m happy to have him in the Zone with my other awesome Zone Leader Elder Lowry. They are the bomb and are always willing to talk with me about what I can do in my area when I´m struggling to know what to do.

One more thing. With Jose Rivas I think I left it at that he wasn´t progressing. Anyways, 2 times he hasn´t attended church because he has been hungover and has been ashamed of his drinking problem and so he doesn´t show. What we decided to do was teach the Word of Wisdom directly and tell him that if he drops this habit his family will really be blessed. I have so much hope for him because he told us he has a real desire to drop this bad habit, and we set a goal with him to drop his drinking habit by the 20th of this month. He really has a desire to know the truth and to change, and because of that I know he can do it. His wife Mariela is going to be a problem because she is so ingrained in her church but as we saw with Telma that can always change with time. We´re going to do a fast for Jose this Sunday and so we´re praying that he can drop it for good and attend church with us. He always reads what we leave him and is a good person who loves his family,he just comes from a culture that is different. Please pray for him that he can change and that this can soften the heart of Mariela and bring her to the truth as well!

Anyways I´m striving as always to be better, even though the going is rough sometimes. I´m really grateful for this mission and everything it is doing for me. I had my first real sick day yesterday when I threw up and had to stay in the house and that was pretty rough, but as always this just humbles you and gives you a new desire to go out and work and do better than you were doing before. I love you all, and can´t wait to talk with you soon! Also I´m going to send a little something for Christmas today! Be excited.


Monday, November 29, 2010

Missionary life!

Hey everybody!

To answer my dear mother´s questions that are probably of interest to everybody, or maybe not who knows, I´m going to talk a Little about the ward. Wards here in Guatemala are different. The church is Young so even the faithful members need a lot of help to get involved in the missionary work and their callings. I have a ward here in Chimaltenango and it is a really good ward for Guatemala, but of course that is relative haha. The hardest thing is lack of families that have been throught the temple together, this makes it hard to have people filling key roles in the church. For example we don´t have a second counsler to our bishop, a ward mission leader, ward missionaries, and a few other key callings. This puts a lot of the responsibilty on the Elders. I know at this point a few returned missionaries are hating me because they only had branches and they literally had to do everything, so for that I´m sorry, but I´m trying to explain my situation here haha. I really do have it good in some aspects, because many of the members enjoy helping the missionaries and for that I´m grateful. While I´m on this topic, I want to comment on how important establishing the church is. If the mission work is going as planned, after the people are baptized and confirmed generally the responsiblity is passed on to the ward missionaries, to teach and complete everything else. Here it can be hard, because we need to balance teaching all the recent converts of the past year, making sure they have the priesthood, are going inactive, etc. while tracting and finding with our own efforts.

Something we have been trying to do in the past week is to reactivate many of the less actives (many of which are recent converts in the past year) reawaken their desire to progress in this góspel and then try to work with their family and friends, because these are the people that usually have non member friends, not the faithful members that have been in the church their entire lives, because here that usually means your social life is the church. Of course this is what I´ve seen in my ward here, maybe that is an over generalization for Guatemala, who knows. We were very happy this week because an incredible amount of less actives showed up to church, and so now ¨phase 2¨of the plan is about to be put into action. Just kidding. But seriously. We now want to work with them and have their help in talking with their friends and family. We were again disappointed with 0 investigators after trying so hard and having 8 people committed to going, but we have to be happy for the number of less actives right? I also saw one of the less active families paying their tithing yesterday which is incredible, and I´m not saying that to give credit to myself, because I don´t feel like we did anything amazing or fantastic with them, we just showed up and shared some thoughts with them. Also in another less active family, one of the daughters wants to serve a mission out of nowhere. I don´t know what is going on, but I´m not complaining.

I´m learning a lot about what missionary work is. I´m learning that going out and tracting for 3 hours (at least in my mission) probably isn´t the best use of time. There is so much establishing of wards and branches here in Guatemala that is a huge part of the work that many miss. If we just baptize a lot of people that fall away because the core ward isn´t strong the work isn´t going anywhere. I´ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and it gets overwhelming sometimes because it is such a large task. Thanks Dad for your advice, because it really helped my concerns with just that. Taking it day by day is what I need to do and not beat myself up for the things that aren´t going perfect or how we want them to.

Anyways Mom, no I have almost no interaction witht he Assistants and the President because our mission is so big and also because of some of the changes made in the structures of missions everywhere. My Zone Leaders are awesome if not a Little too ambitious sometimes (they often ask us to things slightly eccentric, haha but it´s okay, probably because one of them is ending his mission tomorrow and wants to end strong) and my district leader is a latino. I took another video of the apartment and will be sending that for Christmas along with pictures and letters! I was going to buy stuff in Antigua for people but it just was going to be very expensive and stressful so I´m sorry. And the weather has been warmer, but yes I bought some thin gloves for under a dollar and found a fleece in my apartment that was an old missionaries. But thank you anyways Mom!

And yes changes are tomorrow, I´m sure I´ll be staying but Elder Alberto will probably be leaving. We´ve made a lot of progress together, and honestly I´ll be sad to see him go. He´s a really funny person and knows how to work hard but still to keep it a good time. Anyways sorry that there again isn´t anyone really progressing, Jose Rivas who we had high hopes for has a lot of problems with drinking and is ashamed of it and because of that has stopped wanting to meet with us. If anything happens I´ll let you know! I love you all and sorry if I can´t tell you everything I want to!


This is an eyeball his companion ate! Yuch!
Ben in Antigua
Beware of machete man!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hello my unseen audience of readers whom of which I miss dearly,

I´m sitting in an internet café currently listening to classic Spanish music with a lot of feeling and cheesiness infused into it, and I have to say, I´m glad America has the music it does. Anyways, to answer the family questions this week, I have no idea if I´m going to be able to celebrate Thanksgiving, I kind of forgot about it. I would think not because they don´t have it here in Central America, and half the missionaries are latinos so… I don´t know I´ll let you know. I would think not. Speaking of Latino missionaries, Mom was wondering where Elder Alberto is from, he is from San Salvador in El Salvador, and I think he is pretty rich because he had a car (extremely rare for a teenager in Central America, not necesarily because they are more por, but because cars are more expensive here) and his family sends him a huge package every change. Also my spanish… Always I feel as if it isn´t sufficient, which I think will last till the end of my mission (wow I need to lighten up huh?) but I really feel blessed with the language. I can converse normally with pretty much anyone, it just depends on the context and if I know the vocabulary for that subject. Like if they start talking about their job as a mechanic and start using mechanic words I´m probably going to struggle until they explain the verbs and objects and what not haha. I have a long way to go, but I really feel like I have had a lot of help in the way of spanish. A lot of kids didn´t do anything in the MTC and CCM and they are really regretting now because they are basically learning all of spanish without a knowledge of the grammar rules. I feel bad for them, because a lot of kids are really struggling. Also another note, I´m officially overwhelmed with letters, which I´m very grateful for, so please keep writing! But don´t be too mad if it takes me awhile to respond. Could someome send me the Walton´s address?

Anyways this week was another result of the ups and downs of a mission. We had so many investigators committed to church this week, including Carlos Dany and Mabele, and Jose Rivas. We worked harder than we ever have before to make sure that every one of them and more could attend this week. We had about ten by the time Saturday morning came around. Within 24 hours, every single one fell. We had members call them, oass by their house to pick them up, we passed by a lot of their houses, but despite all of our efforts every single one fell through. It was pretty rough sitting there and feeling like I had done something wrong.

During the sacrament though, I had a reassuring feeling that no matter what we do, we can not change the fact that people have their free will. Of course we need to look at what we did and what we could do differently, but that moment told me that we need to do everything we can and after that it is between them and the Lord. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed with the things we need and are supposed to be doing as missionaries. Working with the ward, finding through our own efforts, doing service, finding friends for investigators, planning activities, and the list goes on. I get hard on myself because I tend to blame myself, but what I´m trying to do is to look at what I´m doing right as well as what I´m doing wrong. Missionary work is hard, no one has ever said that it is easy, and of course I´m learning that haha. I´m learning a lot about myself out here and it´s a real growing experience, I just hope that all my efforts will result in a few people having a complete change of heart and taking this gospel into their lives and becoming completely different people. If after two years I can look back and see that, I will be happy. It´s hard work, but it´s rewarding and I´m enjoying the ups and learning from the downs. I miss you all and love you a lot. I hope you don´t forget this Young chap here in Guatemala. Enjoy your thanksgiving break everyone!


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Great Week!

Hey Everybody!

It´s me again, Ben Pearson, I don´t know if you forgot about me, but if you did I happen to be in Guatemala where I am the only white person within miles, and the only one who has experienced carpet under my toes in my life. I also happen to be in Chimaltenango, Guatemala where things are going great.

First off I want to apologize for my letter last week, I was in no way comparing my sacrifice to that of Joseph Smith or the Savior, I just wanted to express that when the going gets hard on a mission the thing that helps most is just to remember your purpose and why you´re here in a foreign country. That´s all, I hope it didn´t come off as sounding self righteous.

Anyways after one of the hardest weeks of my mission I´ve had one of the best weeks of my mission and I will hurry to explain why. First off Elder Alberto and I are teaching so much better together and he is rarely attacking people with our message now, which is such a relief in our lessons and allows us to teach better. I think he is really starting to understand that we can´t convince anyone of this gospel, we can only present it, and if they want to, they can make changes that will be the best thing they ever did for themselves. So that´s been going better. Also we´ve just been working a lot better together in general. He really is a good missionary, he and we just had to figure some things out, and things are going a lot better, of course 2 weeks before he is transferred (proabbly, he has been here for almost 7 months) and I get to head up the area with a new companion. It´s not for sure but we´ll see.

Anyways the reason things are going so well is because aside from Dany and Mabele, this week we made huge strides with one investigator (unexpectedly) and we found a new investigator that is progressing incredibly fast. The first investigator is Jose Rivas. His wife doesn´t want anything to do with the gospel but she listens. At the end of the first lesson with them (not the first time visitng just the actual content of the first lesson) we asked them to really pray about Joseph Smith to know for themselves if he was a prophet. I say guiltily that this was probably more out of routine than sincerety, but to our surprise, when we returned, Jose had actually prayed sincerely. The way we found this out was at the beginning of our lesson we asked if they had any doubts or questions about anything, maybe from the pamphlet they had read or something they want to know about the church. He paused, and usually this means a dificult question, but he thought and asked I want to know more about your church meetings. We were shocked and asked why. We came to find that he had prayed, and the reason he wanted to attend church was because he felt something that he wanted to experience again. This is something that never happens this fast. This is ideally what happens in a Preach My Gospel situation, but this kind of genuity rarely occurs, and I hadn´t seen until then. He´s going to attend church with us and we´re planning to have a Family Home Evening to try to get to his wife because she is incredibly strong in her church and doesn´t want to change, and because of that she is scared to recieve an answer.

The other experience I had (quickly I want to write Brad and Michelle still) was with a man named Carlos and I can´t remember his last name because it´s weird for spanish. When I say that I mean spanish last names are weird enough without being weird for their own language, but I digress. Carlos is a reference of the Sister missionaries here, that we went to contact because a lesson fell through. What we found was that this was a man we had knocked the door of 4 or so days before that didn´t want anything to do with us, so it was kind of awkward and we we´re proabbly a bit apprehensive to ask to enter again. But we did and he allowed us to. To sum things up, we found that he really is someone just searching for the truth. He thinks it is bad that only people who go to schools can lead churches and is asking all the right questions. Within two lessons he attending church and Reading. He is someone who loves the Bible and studies with more intensity than most of the members of our church, but the thing is he is completely open to our message. He said that nothing he had Heard was contrary to what he read in the Bible and that he wants to know for himself the truth. He is big about having respect for the sacred things and loved the reverent way in which we hold our meetings as compared to the yelling and screaming of other churches around here.

I really feel like our hard work is paying off. I really hope things go will with everyone and that we can bring these families closer to the true gospel of Jesus Christ. I´m loving this work, and while it´s the hardest thing I´ve ever done, the times of success make it all worth it. I´m sorry I didn´t talk about Zone Conference Mom maybe next week!

I love you all so much that it is almost weird.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Fleas in my Bed!

Ben didn't mention what type of food is on the plate...
it looks like brain to me! I hope
he didn't have to eat it!

Service project of some sort!

Ben drinking out of his favorite cup from his
favorite brother...his mustache cup!

Hey All,

First off to answer Mom´s questions that everyone might want to know. I have a cook in my new area and the food is pretty good but she doesn´t make us that much. We didn´t have a cook for the first week, and we didn´t have gas so I was eating all my lunches by a microwave. I´m glad we have a cook to say the least. I don´t get too hungry because I always just buy a banana at night or something and have a snack when I get home at night. My new Ward is good but as always wards struggle here and more families that pay tithing are always needed. The meeting house is only about a 10 min walk, but our investigators live far away usually and no one has cars, or almost nobody so it makes it very hard to get people to church, or expensive because we have to pay for a tuk tuk or a bus for them. I have to ask President about that.

Anyways this week was difficult. I´m feeling happy go lucky right now, but last week was very difficult. First off I discovered fleas in my bed, so I´ve been having to spray my bed with prometherin which doesn´t seem to be working, but that wasn´t too bad because it´s just a few bites. That day I lost my White bible(this is something every missionary carries with them at all times and it has all of the rules of a mission in it) with my money and credit card in it. This was also the day that it first bécame very cold, and was raining which is very rare for November. This or something I ate caused me to become sick the next day and I was exhausted and did not feel like working. It was a hard 2 or 3 days. But in those times of course we always learn something. The whole time I was walking and working and wanted to stop because I didn´t feel well, I thought of all the times the Savior probably wanted to stop, but he kept going. I thought of Joseph Smith and how almost all of his life was given to this work, and a lot of it wasn´t enjoyable. I then thought of D and C 121: 7- 8 I think it is where it says that our trials are but a small moment and that if we endure them well, we will be blessed for our efforts. That scripture has helped me a couple times in my mission and I know that our hard times will always lead to good times

Anyways I recieved a blessing from my companion, was better the next morning, found my credit card and White bible (it was returned to me by a man who wants a reward and keeps asking for money when the money that was in there is gone, it was only 2 dollars don´t worry) and my fleas are gone I think. So everything is good and I definitely am much more appreciative of my health in this moment. So the lesson I learned I guess is that sometimes it seems like something is never going to pass and it seems awful, but if we hang in there we´ll be blessed to get through it. Not my deepest insight but it was significant to me at the time haha.

Other than that I´m getting to know the area more which is good. Our main investigator right now is young family, family Cinfuegos. They're a young couple with a child. Their names are Dany and Mabelle and their mom's brother and sister are recent converts. They really want to know the truth but they are struggling to find an answer for themselves. They have a few doubts about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith because she comes from strong roots of Evangelical. But anyways keep them in your prayers and I'll tell you more next week!

Sorry for the pretty lame letter this week, I´m kind of ashamed, I hope it didn´t depress you. I´m happy right now so that´s all that matters, and we´re going to work hard this week to make things happen in our area! I love you all!


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Giant in Guatemala

Hey Everybody
I'm stressing right now because I don't have much time because I recieved a lot of email this week but first off I want to answer Mom's questions. Also sorry about no pictures this cafe is awful, but you have a DVD coming in the mail that I checked if it worked so maybe we can just do it that way. First Mom I have hot water! Finally, it was awful in the mornings and I think my voice increased 3 octaves. Well okay maybe it was worth it because I now am the only man in the world that can sing that high. Also, yes I'm a giant here in Guatemala, everyone is short haha. A lot of things such as the showers, bus seats etc, are built for Guatemalans so lets just say I'm grateful that I'm not any taller. Also I often do feel very spoiled in America. Especially when people aske me what I like to do and I tell them skiing, boating, etc. It's just a different world but it helps that they expect all white people to be rich. When I say I'm rich it's compared to the lifestyle here.
Speaking of the lifestyle here I talked a lot about that to a guy from Ireland for half an hour on the bus here. He's a guy who just travels the world one month out of every year. He's nuts. He doesn't know spanish, and is traveling by himself. What courage eh? Anyways something we both noticed when we first got here is there isn't poverty here like in Africa. Everyone eats which says something. For some it's only rice and beans, but they're living compared to poverty in other countries. I actually have a lot of neighborhoods here with some money. It's a really weird mixture of middle class and poor, with the definitions of middle class and poor being extremely skewed compared to America. Anyways the guy was traveling and we talked a lot about the church and I gave him the website to because that's all I could do. I hope he checks it out, because he was really interested and was a good person.

Okay so an update on this week quickly. I'm getting to know the area better which allows me to contribute more with my companion which feels good. I can give ideas and not just follow along because I don't know anyone or where anything is. Elder Alberto and I are working much better now too. He has seen that we need to work hard and isn't giving me anymore trouble for the most part. He doesn't let me have a say in some things but I'm working to contribute however I can and hope that it's my best. The problems with Chimaltenango is the influence of the mountains. THe people are a little more closed to our message, so we just need to work all that much hard to have people listen.
Anyways I just want to tell you that I had a man stand and yell an evangelical prayer at me the other day and it was terrifying. I don't know know if I already told you about that but it was scary. SOrry I don't have any solid investigators to tell you about right now but we're working our hardest and making progress. I love you all and miss you! Hopefully pictures next week!


Monday, October 25, 2010

New area...Chimaltenango!

Hey Everybody!
Sorry no pictures this week I forgot my chord... Bad week to do that huh? Anyways I´m was so excited to hear about and see Will and I pray that I won´t be thinking about him in all my lessons today haha but no promises... Brad and Michelle are going to great parents, you two just ahve to promise me that you won´t have anymore until I get back okay?

Okay so I was transferred which I sad about. I really wanted to see what happened with our investigators and adjusting to a new area is never fun, but at the same time it can be exciting. The area is Chimaltenango, and it´s a really amazing mix of city and mountain life, or as my friend Elder Davis says the fake mountains. In that he means there are stores shops and normal life but within this huge city there is people wearing the traditional clothes (called corte) people riding horses with cowboy hats and a machete at their belt alongside the cars, etc. Its an amazing mixture of old culture and a westernized city. It´s cool because I have everything I need readily available, but if I walk twenty minutes one direction in my area I´m next to a field where strong old latino ladies are hacking at their crops with a machete. Wow my life is nuts. This is the areas that are poor with a lot of widows and dirt floors but down in the city everyone is pretty normal like is Guatemala City. Except for the fact that I saw a man dip is bread in his sprite and eat it the other day, and then his daughter followed in suite. Gross

My apartment is way nicer than my old one except for the fact that our shower is broken so a solid stream of freezing cold mountain water coming out of the wall is all we have. Mornings are a sight to behold with a lot of girlish screams coming from the bathroom at about 7 o clock every morning. Also it´s a bit cooler up here so the freezing cold showers don´t contribute to that. But other than that I´m really enjoying the new apartment with tile floors (yes! I can actually clean the dirt off) and more space.

The area is huge which is a bit overwhelming considering I´m probably going to be leading the area next change because my companion has been here forever, but who knows. That doesn´t mean senior companion, just showing a new companion the area, but we´ll see. We have to plan smart so that we aren´t taking a bus in between every lesson from one side of town to the other. It´s way different compared to my last area which was tiny. It´s really cool to be surrounded by the mountains though with peaks of volcanoes in the distance etc. Guatemala is awesome.

My companion is the most difficult adjustment. With Elder Tarax when we had differences we could simply talk about them, but Elder Alberto is someone who likes to work out a lot, look at himself in the mirror, and doesn´t have the best attitude. He does like to work which is good, but his intentions with baptisms are very numbers driven leading to a lot of his past baptisms being people who haven´t stayed active. He is a good worker though, and he has listened to me when I suggest something which is good, but I don´t feel anywhere near comfortable making suggestions. So maybe I just need to be more bold and not worry about what he thinks, we´ll see. Part of the reason that he is numbers driven could be the zone. Our zone is extremely numbers driven, and don´t get me wrong numbers are important and have their purpose, but when the focus is on the numbers and not the people there in lies the problem. I don´t leave district meeting feeling inspired, I just leave feeling awful about not achieving our goals. So we´ll see what I can do to contribute to the focus of the area in my lowly position as a greenie haha.

Anyways I hope that wasn´t overly negative, I lov ethe area, and am learning a lot from my new situation with my companion. I need to take initiative in different ways and I know there is a reason I´ve been sent to this area with this companion. There is always something we can learn, we just need to look for it. Sorry I don´t have much to write about investigators or anything, it´s all so new to me, so maybe next week, and I promise pictures. Also I´m sending another DVD with pictures, hopefully this time it will work. Try it on a PC mom maybe that will work.

I love you all, am learning a lot, trying not to get down in the difficult times, and really enjoying the good times. A mission is hard but it can be gratifying, I love you all and Mom email me about any details I forgot, I can add them next week. Also ask Anne for the note I made to you in her email.
I´m excited to hear about the first week of Wills life!


Ben is a brand new uncle...had to post some pictures of his cute little nephew...William Peter Pearson!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Parenting Styles in Guatemala

Hey Everybody,
Sounds like everyone is doing great and anxiously awaiting the birth of Will as am I. I'm of course bummed I won't be there but the Lord will bless me as Will's favorite Uncle because of my service. Wait a second…
Anyway this week was really good! Especially with the O. family with Telma. I thought you would like to know that last Monday night she shared with us that during our Family Home Evening she felt a unity and peace with here family that she had never felt before. I had no idea the impact it had on her, and we were ecstatic to find out. She was so set in her Church before, but due to that experience with the Spirit she is now doubting that her church is the true church because she has never tried anything different. The whole family is reading and praying to know its true, so please please pray for them. We had a few more lessons with them, one of them we showed them how to make rice krispy treats, which they love, and shared a message about church and invited them to church. They had reasons why they couldn’t attend but I think if we extend the invitation a little earlier in the week and really show them why its important they will attend with us. I keep wanting to write assist with us because to attend is asistir in Spanish. My English will be awful when I return I can feel it. Anyway we also watched the restoration with them and the spirit was very strong. I started to ask them how they felt after the video and they said really good. They said they could see that he was just a boy that wanted to know the truth not some guy who started a church for money. I forgot to mention we brought a member with us to this lesson, who then went on to ruin the lesson. He thinks he is very smart and at this moment where the spirit was very strong, he went on to talk about the 3 pillars of the gospel and how we have what other churches don’t. We were very frustrated, so my point is, if you are ever helping the missionaries just help them how they want you to. The family is still going strong though and we have high hopes for them. Sorry that was extremely ADD Im rushing and my emails come out jumbled and confusing so I hope you can piece that together.
Anyways we have another family, the Ignacio Family, that is progressing as well, and the thing is they attended church! This felt really good because getting people to attend church has been so hard for us. They really liked church and the primary program, and are really praying to know this is true. The fact that they are keeping commitments shows their desire and we are hoping to talk about baptism this week and set a goal for baptism with them because they are really good people. They have a kid though who is literally insane. Parents here don’t discipline their kids, they just give them what they want and smack them on the head when they misbehave, as a result the kids are spoiled. Our biggest problem with the Ignacio Family right now is their kid Josue. He walks up to his parents while we are talking and tells them to stop talking and starts yelling, making it impossible for the spirit to be there. We are going to start bringing candy and stuff for drawing to keep him occupied. Speaking of kids, our cook Moroni fed his one year old Coke out of the bottle the other day, needless to say, parenting is a tad different here.
Anyways it was a good week, I'm sad that I might leave tomorrow, I will find out tonight if I will be emailing you in another place next Monday. I really want to see my investigators progress and be baptized but chances are that I will leave just with how the training zones work here. Anyways Hector I need your address could someone send that to me via email? I have a letter for you big guy.
I miss you all and love you!

Mormon - Mormons

Mormon - Mormons

Monday, October 11, 2010

October 11, 2010

Hey everybody!
The title is my companions new favorite phrase in english. Its hilarious.
First off to answer Moms questions, The rainy season seems as if it's over but technically it stops when November starts. The weather is beautiful right now though. Also Elder Tarax is from Guatemala, just another City and has 9 months in his mission. He's easy to get along with but of course gets frustrated as everyone does sometimes, so some random times he just acts weird and I don’t why and he doesn’t like to tell me, but always within a little bit hes back to his happy self. Sometimes we have a difference in opinion on how to execute our schedule and that can be awkward but its never been a big problem.
So this week was great. We taught a lot which was good and felt good. I would say the coolest thing that happened was that the date was 10/10/10. I was thinking about the days when I used to celebrate stuff like that in elementary school, and thought that’s how life should be. We should be able to find any excuse to party and make a huge cake in the shape of the number 10. After that thought, I wanted that exact cake and a fork. Also in that moment I realized I was in a road with a starving ugly dog sniffing my shoes. I think he wanted that cake as well.
Just kidding that wasn’t the coolest thing. The most amazing thing hands down was that we were able to have a family home evening with the family of Jose O.. His wife has been stubbornly opposed to hearing our message so we thought we would invite her to have a family home evening with us in a more casual setting. To our surprise she accepted and we had a family home evening with the ENTIRE family. This was huge step. We shared a short message about the importance of families, played a game, and had rice krispy treats (which I happened to make, yes I have become a pro at those, do they have a profession for that?). They have a great tight knit family and we made great strides in gaining the trust of the wife of Jose (Telma). She has now agreed to hear more (tonight) and we have high hopes for their family. Something not so good happened with the Florez Chavez family. We had a lesson with him where he talked for 20 minutes about how the Book of Mormon was true, but that the Koran was also true, and Buddah was also a prophet. The family is great but theyre not going anywhere so we decided to drop them. I was bummed but they have their agency so there is no use in continuing to sit through his lectures on our dogma of faith (his favorite phrase). Maybe he will come around one day. Rubi as well is not progressing, she wont keep commitments and is starting to be flaky about lessons. We really have hope for her and her family though so were going to continue to pray and work with here because she has a sincere desire for the truth.
Another item of interest is that we have our first changes next week and everyone tells me that Im going to leave just because we opened a new area, and they need my trainer to stay and that a lot of new missionaries are coming in so I will probably leave. Im going to be bummed to leave this area for sure. A missions weird. Youre asked to work with and get close to a certain people and right when you feel as if you are accomplishing that goal many times you are asked to leave. But, at the same time a new area is exciting, so well see what happens. I might know by next email I might not.
Anyway we have some new investigators I'm excited about but Ive decided I'll just write you about my progressing ones because a lot of them have potential until the second lesson that doesn’t happen because they don’t want anymore to do with it. Im learning more every week and miss everyone! I love you all, but would love you all more if you were latinos and had mustaches.

Some random pictures out tracting...enjoying the great weather!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Elder Pearson is green, but happy!

Elder Pearson with President and Sister Baldwin...his mission President and mission mother

Ben and his Provo MTC companion, Elder Morgan...he loves this man!

Ben with all of the new missionaries with their trainers ready to head out to their new areas!

All of the new missionaries after meeting with President Baldwin

Rice, Beans, meat and tortillas....yummm!

Ben lives somewhere in this area...where I don't really know!

Elder Pearson and Elder Tarax in front of the baptismal font

Elder Pearson, Elder Tarax, and newly baptized Susie with her children...she looks so happy!