"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, January 31, 2011

My first Q'eqchi Baptism!

Well hello there people!
Well, no change for me! I am staying up in Santo Domingo aka Santil Domiing aka Holy Sunday. It has now been 2 weeks with no water, and about 4 days without power. I have brushed my teeth using sprite the last few days. It’s been rough. Elder Howard does have a change though, so I will be receiving a new companion in these upcoming days. Change conference isn’t until Wednesday, but we are in a pretty remote area, so they let us know what is going on a little early.

However we did have a baptism on Saturday!!! Super awesome! Maria Alicia Coy Chaman.

She is 11 years old. She walks 2 hours every Sunday to make it to church! Super sweet! I was able to do the baptism as well, and yes, I did it in Q'eqchi'.Right when I stepped into the water, I forgot all the words, but right as I began saying her name, my mind was just filled with exactly what I had to say! The Spirit helped me so much and I am very grateful for that! About 100 people came to the baptism as well! It was super cool!! Only 32 people came to church the next day though. Rosalina, Maria Alicia, Lorena, and Letty were able to spend the night at Presidents house so they didn’t have to make so many long trips in 2 days, so that was really good too.

So, finally, we see a little success....Hopefully we can find more, but there are no other investigators at all that are progressing, so we will just continue working hard and try and find some new people...

This week I also went on a division to Teleman, with Elder Larsen's comp, Elder. Vasquez. It was pretty cool! We helped build a house for the first 2 hours in the morning. We put up 2 of the walls, and yes it was made of bamboo sticks that we tied together. Sorry there are no pictures, but the house was finished later that day.

Interviews with President went well. I wore the sick turquoise tie that Nicole regalared (gave) me for Christmas, and everyone complimented it. That’s super sweet about BYU Basketball! I am in love with Jimmer! Ha ha!. He is the man!!

Tell all the new missionaries from the ward good luck from me, and tell mom to not be sick anymore!

I really wish I had more to write about, but I lost the paper that I usually write things on to write home about and I don’t really remember anything!! But it has been a good week. Hopefully my area improves or I might die. Ha ha!
Well I love you all!
Kawaq lee Paab'al (Keep the Faith)
Kawaq Eerib' (Stay Strong)
Love Elder Jordan Smith

Monday, January 24, 2011

I have received my Q'eqchi' name!

Hey there you bums! Ha ha!
So just to let you know I have received my Q'eqchi' name!! Good luck pronouncing it! It is.............
Laj Q'anjorin
Laj is just what you put in front of a male's name.
joriink = to golden or to turn brown
q'an = yellow or ripened
q'anjorin = perfectly golden brown.
So it’s perfect right? I like it a lot!
Oh and the 2nd part of the word is kind of like my first name, so it just works out great!!

I'm pretty sure I found the biggest leaf of all time! (Click on image to enlarge it.)

So there really aren’t any investigator updates. No one is really progressing up here. But we do have one that we might be able to baptize. We will see what President says tomorrow because we have interviews. It is a girl named Maria Alicia; she lives with Rosalina and her family, the recent converts that walk 2 hours to go to church. Maria Alicia comes to church every week and we have taught her, so we have a fecha with her for this Saturday for her baptism but we will see. So this last Sunday we went up to Actela in the morning because Maria Alicia's dad was going to be there....We left at 5 in the morning to go up there! So I was rather tired that day. But it was good to meet her dad and he said that it was great if she gets baptized. He works in the Capital and he comes up for like a day to visit and then heads back down to work. He only comes up every few months....

The thing with my electric razor, it’s all good. But I don’t want another electric razor. I didn’t even use the one I had for shaving my face. I really don’t like electric razors. I used the sideburn trimmer....So I asked about getting a goatee trimmer thing like the one dad has. It is completely different, but that is probably expensive too, so don’t worry about it. And yes we do lock our door, but the branch president's kids have keys to the church, and well, once you get inside the church, there is one key that opens EVERYTHING so there is really nothing we can do about it. I think my pocketknives are either in the first drawer of my desk or on my headboard, or on the floor underneath the headboard of my bed. Or maybe Jake just jacked them. So you can ask him first.

Here are some pictures of my living quarters that you wanted to see. (Also known as 2 rooms in the church):

(Gotta love the pink Disney Princess blanket!! Poor Elders Smith and Howard. They don't have any ties, ha ha!)

Our trip to Cobán was good. Yes, Elder Ballard spoke. But we really didn’t hear anything he said because the transmission was bad and we only got the translated version and the translator didn’t speak clearly. So it was tough to pay too much attention to mumbled, badly transmitted Spanish. So that was kind of a disappointment. We were just hoping it was Elder Holland because many apostles came to different missions here in Central America....But too bad we couldn’t really hear.

But I loved going to Cobán. It’s so nice....well, compared to where we live.....But I even ate SUBWAY!!!!!! AHHH!!!! It was so gooood!!!!!!!!! And I took a hot shower! First hot shower in about 7 months!!!!!! So that felt great! Especially since we don’t have water right now, so I haven’t taked ( "taken" I think it's funny how he is forgetting English) a shower since that one in Cobán. So hopefully I don’t stink too bad in my interview tomorrow. I also went on a short division with Elder Fadel up there. It was sweet! His Q'eqchi' is super good. It’s always fun to see him and all the other elders from Senahú and Cobán.

Oh just to let you know, The Disneyland ride "Soarin' Over California" has us all fooled. The smell of oranges when you fly over that orange orchard, you know the smell right? It's not really that smell. Because while walking through corn fields while it is raining smells the exact same!!! So I swear they just have some wet corn with a fan that blows the smell in or something (ha ha) because it is exactly the same!!! Just I thought I would let you know...

I wish I had a lot more to tell you about my life up here in the Chik, but there really isn’t anything crackalackin! But we shall see what happens with changes the upcoming week! It's gonna be crazy since no one in the zone of Polochik received a change last time! Anything could happen!
Well I love you all and have a great week!
Kawaq lee Paab'al (Keep the Faith)
Kawaq eerib' (Stay Strong)
Neke'xinra (I love you all)
Elder Jordan Smith

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It's amazing how the Lord blesses us when we are in His service, isn’t it!

I am doing good...Just working hard in the work of the Lord.

Ismael we haven’t taught again yet. Miguel is doing good. He is interested in the things we teach him and everything and he actually has questions! But he didn’t come to church this week, so his fecha fell. Then Waldemar we haven’t been able to teach yet either. He hasn’t been home and his mom lies to us and says he is not home when he is. So I really don’t know what is going to happen with him.

One cool thing though! A lady named Esperanza, that Elder Toolson and I contacted and began teaching together back in Sayaxché, got baptized this last Saturday!!! And I was told that she is going to be a great member! I am super stoked about that!!!

Oh Ian! I love and miss that little kid. Please tell him “What’s up” for me.

It's amazing how the Lord blesses us when we are in His service isn’t it!? I just can’t stop giving thanks for His many blessings in our lives. We will never be able to repay Him for the greatness of mercy that He has for us!

It’s just super crazy that practically everyone in our whole family has moved since I left! It will be really weird when I get home! You guys better stay put! I am not coming home to a different house!

I still haven’t taken a picture of our room and ''kitchen'' so I will do that and send them next week. But here are a few pictures that I took last week when we were in El Estor. We were right by El Lago de Izabal, the biggest lake in Guatemala!
11 MONTHS! Elder Lusty and I came out at the same time!

The language is going good I guess. I can almost teach half of lesson one without using Preach My Gospel. That’s what we have to teach with, and yes it is in Q'eqchi'. But it is improving. Little by little I guess, right?

Hey so I am in need of some toiletry items if you could send them for me! I need more gel, it’s the kind I have had for awhile. It is Schwarzkopf got2b glued styling spiking glue water resistant 4 hold its yellow with a silver lid. Then my shaving lotion stuff. It’s Nivea for men revitalizing double action balm soothes after shaving and energizes whole face coenzyme Q10 its silver with yellow and blue highlights. Hopefully that was specific enough, ha ha! I just copied everything it says on the containers for the 2 things. Then my electric razor got stolen out of our room probably by some kid on Sunday. So could you send me another....but not the same, one like dad has, the goatee trimmer dealy that would be great. And if it isn’t illegal to send pocketknives, could you send me some of my knives that are up in my room? And I would really like to have my Priesthood Authority Line....Thanks. sorry for all that....

So nothing really happened this week. Just working hard. Elder Holland is coming to Guatemala to speak this week. We won’t be able to see him but we are going to Coban to see the broadcast of it! I am super excited for it! He is coming to speak to our mission and a few others along with Elder Christofferson, except he is speaking to other missions. But it’s going to be SWEET!

So let me tell you a little bit about the drinks up here. There is the burnt tortilla drink that I already told you about. It is hands down the best drink there is! I am happy to receive that more than any other drink. Then there is kind of like a chocolate drink which isn’t too bad, except it is really oily sometimes. Then there are 2 others: One is Q'em Ha' which literally means Dough Water and there is Ch'amb'uul. Q'em Ha' is really gross and it is made from corn, like everything else here. It is hot water with corn tortilla dough mashed up all in it. It tastes quite bad but it’s the worst once you get to the bottom to all the dough chunks. Its really rough going down the throat! We had about 3 liters of that stuff given to us on Wednesday. It was rough. But then there is Ch'amb'uul. That stuff is probably not even sanitary. They make Q'em Ha' and then they put it on there metal roofs for a week to let it ferment. Then they reheat it and serve it as a drink!!! It is pure poop! There is no other way to describe it. If you let it get cold, it is too thick to come out of the cup! When this drink is served to us, all distractions possible are made, especially ones that allow people to leave the room so you can throw it in a bag which can be disposed of later! Its rough stuff! I just thought I would give you a little taste of the Q'eqchi' life!!

That’s about it up here in the Chik! Hopefully I will be named soon as well. Elder Howard and Elder Larsen are working on my Chik name for me!

I hope you all have a great week!
Kawaq lee Paab'al ut
Kawaq Eerib'

Keep the Faith and
Stay Strong
Love you all, Elder Jordan Smith

Monday, January 10, 2011

We are hiking machines up here in the land of Polochik!

It’s so crazy that I have hit 11 months! I almost can’t even believe it! So much has happened but yet the time has really flown by!!!

So this week we were not able to teach Ismael but we did set another fecha! So we have 2 fechas (baptism commitments) for the 19th of Feb, so I will most likely be here for that. They are both kids though. Waldemar and Miguel Ramon. Ages 14 and 17. But they are great and really have a desire to learn more and they even come to church without us passing by their houses. Waldemar's brother is also one of the best members, he is 19. So things are going so much better here!! We even had 6 investigators in church! So we shall see how things go this upcoming week. We are definitely still working hard, but it is tough finding minimal success. There have been like 6 baptisms here in Santo Domingo in the last 10 years! So its really tough, but we are still trying to do what the Lord wants us to do. Nothing else we can really do right? But we are finding little pieces of success so thats always uplifting.
This last week we hiked up to a place called Mocca! It takes a little over 2 hours to get there. It’s about 5 to 6 miles away and almost straight up. If you don’t believe me that we did it that fast, well you better believe! We are hiking machines up here in the land of Polochik! We could probably go up and down Mt. Timpanogos in a matter of 6 and a half hours no doubt! Anyways, we found some cool people up there and a lot of the people there speak Spanish! Crazy right!? So we shall see when we head back up there. Probably next week.

Also during the week, just hiking to people's houses we saw 2 flocks of bright green parrots that were flying over our head. It was completely amazing!

So we are in an area called El Estor right now and this internet place is crazy! There are like 8 Xboxes and half of them are being used for playing the new call of duty! I wish I could play haha. It takes a really long time to get here so we only go here every once and a while....

That’s crazy that grandma and grandpa are moving out of our basement! I guess it leaves the place for me when I'm married and super poor huh? Ha ha!!

That’s sweet about Tanner's mission call. And everyone else too! Congratulate them all for me please!

Thats super crazy about the NFL playoffs. I almost can't even believe it at all!!! Sick about BYU basketball stuff too. I don't know if i can cheer for the freakin Ducks. Ha ha! Go Tigers. I guess I will find out next week though, huh?

I wish I had a lot more to say to you all this week! But we are still working hard and doing all we can to get something going in our area. We even had all 3 hours of was practically a miracle!

Never ever complain about doing your laundry! This is how we get our laundry up and down the mountain about a mile or so to the lady that washes our clothes. I've just about mastered this head carrying thing like the people here!

Well I love you all and I hope you have a great one!

PS I got my new missionary nametag in Q'eqchi' today!!!

Keep the Faith
Kawaq lee Paab'al

Stay Strong
Kawaq Eerib'

With Love
Rik'in Rahok

Elder Jordan Smith

Monday, January 3, 2011

I just can't stop counting my blessings!

Hello My Peeps!
Well the answer to your first question (do you have any investigators) is YES! Finally! Well we have 2! One has a fecha that Elder Howard set during church. He taught the Restoration for the young men and women Sunday School class and then asked Waldemar if he would accept to be baptized on the 19th of Feb! So we shall see how that goes. The other is Ismael. He is super pilas! We have only taught him twice. But we asked what he remembered from the first time, and he had actually read the pamphlet we gave him and he UNDERSTOOD IT! He then went off telling about the things we taught him in detail and he also understands that the true church must have a prophet and 12 apostles!!!! The first person who has actually fulfilled a commitment and then some! He is amazing. I hope he will receive a testimony strong enough to be baptized. He also said that many missionaries have passed by his house, so I think we have finally found one of the chosen ones that the Lord has prepared for us and placed in our path....

My Book of Mormon study is going good! I just finished Jacob 5. The manual helped a lot, still kinda hard to get all of the meaning out of it. But it’s going great so far...

Ok just a few things that I have noticed lately about the lives of the people here. I just got to thinking about it all. They live in shacks. Metal roof, bamboo or wood walls, with a dirt floor and they use firewood for fire to be able to cook food that they haul from the mountain on their heads, and they sleep on beds that they made...out of wood, there are no such things as mattresses for these people unless you are ¨rich.¨ And then the kids are super happy when they get to play with a balloon, or use their dad's beat up shoe as a car and drive it around their dirt floor, and they all shower with a bowl and dirty water that they get out of their sinks (pilas). They all have outhouses as well. Yet they all seem happy, or at least content with their lives. It’s amazing to me to see the difference between home and here. How we might get a car or something but not like it because of its color, or something of that nature. I just can’t stop counting the blessings that we have all received in our lives. I am so very grateful to our Heavenly Father for these numerous blessings that we have in our lives. I just want you all to think for a second when you may complain about not having a new pair of shoes, or when the power is out so you can’t use the microwave, or when you are not able to go a couple blocks to the nearest Wal-Mart because your car is broken down. I cannot express my gratitude for the blessings we have in our lives. I just want you all to remember them always and to not take anything for granted, especially clean water that comes out of the tap.

What Bill and Ted's did you see...Excellent Adventure or Journey.?...Because Adventure is where it’s all at! The Journey one stinks.

In church, for testimony meeting, I couldn’t understand a single thing. But I could feel the Spirit so strongly, it was really great. Some members were teary eyed in the congregation as well. It is amazing how the Spirit of the Lord works. It testifies of all truth and will never lead us astray.

Well that is all I have for you all at this point in time! One week from today I will have 11 months. Pretty cool stuff. Q'eqchi' is still one of the most hardest languages in the world, but it's going good, kind of. I will get it one day. Well I love you all and I hope you have a great week.
Neke'xinra! (I love you all)
Tuqtuukilal (Peace)

Stay Strong
Keep the Faith
Love Elder Jordan Smith