"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

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tikal is breathtaking!


(He's so good to always answer all of mom's questions first):
Any requests as to how you want us to celebrate YOU on the 18th?
Hmmm...nope not really.

What are you buying? Anything fun? I just want to make sure it’s really you and all the recent charges on your card are legit. Did you get Grandma Angie’s package? She’s wondering.
Yep got all of it!!! Thank you soo much!! I even got the package that Grandma sent me for my birthday. She wrote the card in Spanish. It made me kinda laugh because she put the English word next to a few words in case I didn’t understand. But I understood everything without that! So that was cool. But thanks for that 20 bucks!! (We have a birthday tradition of giving our kids $1 for every year they are old). I already got it changed to Quetz and I also spent it too. Thank you so much! Yes that’s me using my card. It’s legit. And the stuff I bought with it is pretty legit too, but that’s all a surprise. So you shall see.

So I have been thinking of the Juarez family all week!! And of course you guys too. It’s so hard to imagine that they’re whole house was flooded and that you guys helped build them a house in one day.
Well the floor of that other house was already done. And it’s not what you can really call a house by our standards. It works as a shelter for them for now I guess. I just hope that it doesn’t blow over because it’s on these stilt things and isn’t very sturdy. So I hope it lasts.

What time do you have church? 9 a.m

Best thing I ate this week: Pizza Hut. Worst thing: Rotten Meat that we had. I had one taste and that was it for me. Elder Toolson just gobbled it all right up! I think our stomachs are immune now or something because he didn’t even have diarrhea or anything!

Wow! Ha that was a lot of questions. Now for what happened....

The baptisms Saturday were so amazing! It really was special to have Lázaro baptize his kids. It was really awesome. It was done in the font because the river was too high. It was really cool because a lot of the members were there too! My last 2 baptisms, not one member came. So that was really cool to see all the support. Their names are Abél and Sandra Maribel Juárez Najarro. They are 16 and 9 respectively. Abel’s birthday is one day after Jake’s! So they’re the exact same age. I really don’t know why they weren’t baptized before, probably just because they didn’t want to. There are 2 more kids of that family that still need to be baptized. We couldn't baptize the 11 year old girl because we haven't found her birth certificate and they don't know her birthday. Only in Guat! The kids that are left are 11 and 20. They said that they want to be baptized on the 4th of Nov. It’s kind of a wait but it will be really sweet and probably in the river too. So that will go down next change up here. So that should be really cool. I can’t wait!

Our 3 investigators (kids) have been receiving missionaries for like a year now and the mom just doesn’t want to listen. So we have tried to teach the grandma. She’s not too receptive though. She says she is ''Too afraid'' to leave the house to go to church, even though we have said we would go with her. She carries a giant pistol on her belt all the time along with 4 other clips ready to go. So we will see how that goes.

We caught more rats, hooray!! We did video the whole rat capture and kill moment from last week. And yes we were all screaming like little girls, but it’s because we had flip flops on. It was gonna bite our toes off! Ha ha! Good Excuse huh?

We went looking for a different house to live in this last week. We found one good one, but it’s smaller and is double the price so I think we will be living in ''the Barn'' for a little bit longer. Ha ha!

We got MICROWAVES!! We still haven’t been able to use it because we have to buy an adapter to be able to plug it in to the outlets here. It’s the 3 prong thing and there aren’t any of those outlets here. But it’s still exciting!!

Church this last week was disappointing. We had no investigators there and only 28 members came to church. We also found out that there are 396 members here in Sayaxché! So who knows where they are because between the 2 areas here we really only know like 10 total less actives and we also visit every member we know at least once a week because we don’t have too many investigators, which kinda stinks. So we have a lot of work to do.

We do have this really neat man named Julián Moreno that we are talking to. He reads the Book of Mormon and does everything we ask him to do. So I sure hope he will progress, because he works on Sundays and can’t make it to church. Hopefully we can get him there though!

I bought a new tiny little bible this week too. The one that I got from the MTC is destroyed for some reason. From the humidity probably, and it got wet during the hurricane too. But the little one is super nice. It fits in my pocket so it doesn’t weigh anything! So that’s pretty cool to be carrying around.

And you probably already know....
But we went to TIKAL yesterday!!!!! It was really sweet! The ruins and the views were breathtaking. It was really neat.

Elder Toolson's (Jordan's companion) account of Tikal: I pretty much had the best p-day of my life!! And thats no lie! First we went over to the zone leaders' house at 7:00 on Sunday night. Then the next morning we woke up at 5:00 a.m. and left to go do the activity. Yes thats right, We went to TIKAL!!!!! It is one of the most famous ruins in the whole world. It was seriously the coolest experience of my life. The temples are huge and they are everywhere. The weather was perfect, a little cloudy with a little rain the whole day. I saw like 20 monkeys climbing in the trees. I even saw a tucan! Then, when me and Smith were walking around we saw some animal that looked kinda like a ant eater and raccoon mixed. It's called a white nose coati. It just ran up to us looking for food, so we pulled out some cookies and it would run up and eat them out of our hands! Then Elder Drach came and he put it in his mouth and the thing took it from his mouth! Then elder Pierce came and put a cookie on his back and made it climb up him to getit! Haha it was seriously so funny because it was this wild animal but so nice. Then we kept walking around and climbed some temples that are like 150 ft high. As we were up there you would see other temples just poking out of the jungle. Seriously, the coolest thing I have ever seen! There are like 12 temples that are enormous! Also a lot of little houses everywhere that they say were for sacrifices. It took about 3 and a half hours to look at everything.

We also saw a missionary that just finished his mission from the South mission. He was there with his family. So that was cool to be able to talk to some other ''real'' Americans besides just us missionaries. Tikal was pretty sweet.

A mi me gusta mucho para poder estar aquí en la misión. Me ha ayudado mucho en mi vida y mi testimonio ha crecido mas que pensaba que lo podía. Puedo ver la mano del Señor cada día y los milagros que he visto son maravillosos. Los cambios en las personas por el evangelio verdadero es muy especial. Doy gracias cada momento que tengo para invitar personas a esta iglesia. Espero que las personas puedan recibir este mensaje en sus vidas también y no solamente escucharnos y ya no más. Pero yo sé que la misión es la obra del Señor y también sé sin duda que La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Últimos Días es la única iglesia verdadera sobre la faz de la tierra. Gracias al Señor por este gran oportunidad que yo tengo para ser misionero. He aprendido muchas cosas acerca del evangelio y también acerca de cosas en la vida que puedo mejorarme para que yo pueda ser una persona buena cuando regreso a casa después de este tiempo que tengo aquí.

Muchísimas Gracias por todas las cosas que han hecho para mí durante mi vida.
Les amo mucho.
Quédeles Fuerte y Fiel
Guarde la Fe
Se Cuida hasta la próxima
Con Amor
Elder Jordan Smith
Sorry if my spanish had too many errors. I LOVE YOU ALL

Translated by mom for all you gringos :)
I really like being able to be out here on a mission. It has helped me so much in my life and my testimony has grown more that I had thought possible. I can see the hand of the Lord every day and the miracles that I have seen have been marvelous! The change that happens in people because of the gospel is so special. I give thanks to our Heavenly Father for every moment that I have out here to invite people to His church. I hope that people will receive our message into their lives and not just listen to us and that’s it. I know that my mission is to do the work of the Lord. I also know without a doubt that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only true church on the face of the earth. I give thanks to the Lord for this great opportunity that He has given me to be a missionary. I have learned so much more about the gospel and also things about my own life that will help me to be a better person when I return home after my time here is done.

Thank you so very much for the things that you have done for me throughout my whole life.
I love you all very much
Stay Strong and Faithful
Keep the Faith
Take care until next time
With Love,
Elder Jordan Smith

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