GUATEMALA CITY NORTH MISSION February 2010 - 2012 STAY STRONG AND KEEP THE FAITH ~ Elder Smith's Motto "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes." D&C 121:7-8
Monday, May 10, 2010
There's no way Jordan can do that but Elder Smith can!
Hey Everyone! So about our appt with Flori that we had. It went really well, the spirit was so strong and I was able to say the most things I have ever said in a lesson before!!! We taught faith, repentance, baptism, gift of the holy ghost and enduring to the end. At the end of the lesson my comp extended a baptismal commitment! She said YES!!! So my comp said, "That is so great, Congratulations. We are having a baptismal service on June 5th, we will help you prepare for that date to be baptized and become a member of our church if that date works for you." Then Flori said, "Oh become a member of YOUR church? Nevermind. WHAT?! It was a moment of joy and then a moment of pure disappointment. I don't know what is going to happen with her exactly but we are going over there on Wednesday to talk with her again. She is currently thinking about baptism and the things we have said because she enjoyed quite a bit, as was told to us by a member who is friends with Flori. So we will see what happens there. I hope it all works out.
We talked with another pastor this week, twice actually. Those are always pointless but he calls us over when we see him in the street every time so we kind of have to go over and talk to him. I don't know if his heart will be softened to receive this gospel. I guess we will see.
Oh we met with this lady named Sandy. She had received all the lessons previously before she moved here and was going to get baptized but she was living with her boyfriend so she couldn't´t unless they got married. But she moved here after she split up with her boyfriend. So we can baptize her now! We talked about baptism and set a date for the 17th of June but then yesterday, Sunday, when we went to her house to take her to church there was a lock on the outside of her door. So I am not sure what really happened to her...I hope she's ok.
That about sums up the week!! I love you all so so much!! It was so great talking to you guys. It always helps me push forward to hear your support. Thank you so much for that. I'm so grateful for you guys and how you brought me up with this gospel! I would be lost without this great knowledge of how to be able to return to our Father in Heaven one day.
You guys rock! Love you, Elder Smith
Higlights of our Mother's Day Phone call: Elder Escamilla decided to "come out of the closet" and tell everyone in their district that he actually can speak a lot more English than he had led everyone to believe. They all thought it was pretty funny. (Me? Hmm...not so much!) It sounds like he and Jordan are getting along and have been able to communicate a lot more this past week both in Spanish and English.
He said that his apartment is pretty decent. I thought that having my Mother's Day phone call would be the only present I really needed this year. But I think the following photo is even a better present!
A clean room for ONCE IN JORDAN'S LIFE is a complete miracle and a journal opened on his bed that looks like it's been written in is more than I could have ever dreamed of. I seriously wonder what's become of my Jordan. I'm really loving this new Elder Smith guy.
The missionaries have names for certain areas of their mission. Guatemala City and it's surrounding areas (where Jordan is) is known as the Telestial Kingdom because of the number of baptisms that happen. Jordan got a sheet this past week that showed 10 baptisms in his area in the past 3 years. Thankfully Jordan has already experienced a wonderful conversion and baptism the first few weeks in Atlantida with the baptism of Sindi on April 24th
Coban and Peten are the Terrestial Kingdom and the place that most missionaries want to serve. The baptism rate is a lot higher and the people are much more humble. Then there's Polochic..the Celestial Kingdom of the Guatemala North mission. One missionary alone has 6 baptisms coming up this week. It's a little more primitive there and the people speak an old mayan dialect called kekchi. Jordan told us he loves us with all his heart in kekchi last night. It sounded chinese to me! But that is where all the missionaries aspire to go.
He said that because his companion is going home in two weeks, he will most likely not be transferred but he is looking forward to a change. He understands the work is hard and the success rate low. But it will make all their success that much more sweet. He had a great talk with President Torres at Zone Conference and he told Jordan that some of the best missionaries come from those that have been in his shoes.....spanish speaking companions only and in a hard area. He said that he's sure Jordan will be one of the best spanish speaking missionaries in the mission soon.
At the MTC and CCM he was taught that baptism numbers aren't what a mission is about. The main part is that each missionary try his best and work hard. But when he got out to the field, President Torres has told them that their mission is a baptizing mission. Numbers do matter. Especially priesthood leaders and families. It's essential to their area of Guatemala. Jordan has had to make a mental switch with that, but he knows that President Torres is inspired and is leading their mission under the Lord's direction.
The only time Jordan sounded a little sad or frustrated was when he talked about the work. He said that there is a mission rule that a man has to be in the house for them to be able to teach. But in his experience, many men there are pretty horrible. They work all day and get drunk at night and have no interest in their message. They have had to pass up many women and children who would otherwise welcome them in.
For service the other day, they chopped down bamboo with machetes in a jungly area behind some one's house. Jordan LOVES chopping wood. He would do it for hours when we'd go camping, but always with an ax of course. He said the machete chopping was so much better. He described it as having levels 1 to 4 and he got video of level 2 or something. He described almost like a video game. It was quite funny.
Get ready for a little TMI (Too much information) but it's just so typical of Jordan I had to share. He had to use the bathroom the whole time he was talking to us but refused because he was so afraid that he would clog the family's toilet (a frequent occurrence at our house when he was home.) He told us that in their apartment once he forgot that you can't put toilet paper in the toilet. He clogged it bad and so he got the plunger to unclog it. It was kind of freaky when all of the sudden the water started coming up through the shower drain! He and his companion went back and forth plunging the toilet and the shower! Eeeeeeew was said in unison by our whole family. We told him to put a second plunger on his shopping list to help.
His spanish is coming along pretty good. He said there are a few people who speak slow and a pure spanish that he understands 100%. Others he gets about half. And older people and little kids that speak really fast he is able to understand a word here and there. There aren't a lot of slang words in spanish that aren't swear words so he says that a lot of people say "Freak" or "Freaking." We noticed it in his sentences a lot.
We told him of the many blessings that we have had since he's been gone and we told him how much more we have felt the spirit in our home. He replied, "That's probably because I'm not there! Ha ha!"
He told us that the fleas are still a problem but if he sleeps with the fan on, he seems to get less bites, but the mosquitoes are always out full force in the day. He has 7 bites just on his knee. They go on a cockroach hunt each night and stomp on them if they are able to catch them because they are so dang fast.
He told us of some really scary things that he has had to eat and drink. But he has come up with the best little motto for himself when faced with hard trials, challenges, or nasty food. He tells himself, "There's no way Jordan can do this but Elder Smith can!"And he goes for it!!! We're so proud of his attitude.
We were so happy to have just over 2 hours to talk to him! It was still too short though. We would have talked for longer, but it was past 9 pm and they had to get back to their apartment. It's hard to believe that we actually have a son on a mission. A mission in a very far away land. A mission that is helping him in ways that will last a lifetime. A mission where he is forced to turn to our Father in Heaven. A mission that is turning him from my little boy into a man.
If you are new to this blog and have a missionary serving in Guatemala, please leave a comment with your email and I will contact you. I would love to get to know you, share stories, and let you know of an email group available for great advice and support for us missionary moms!