Beautiful Guatemala

Beautiful Guatemala
Me with a random field worker. I love the knife!

Monday, October 22, 2012


Hey everyone!
Before I tell about the week, right now I just had a wild experience reading my family’s emails. If my mom wants, she can cut this part out of the email, but it’s just a funny story that I think y'all will get a kick out of. So to use internet here in Guatemala, we go to public Internets with like 25 computers, and most of the missionaries use internet at the same time. I open my internet and check out who wrote me, open a few and get to my dad’s. My dad tells me that they are seriously thinking of moving to Utah, but this time really seriously. Well, all of y'all who know my family know that my dad’s been saying that since I was about 10 years old, so I was like whatever, next email. Then I open my mom’s email and she tells me "I haven’t told you anything because I didn't want to distract you, but we found a house in Utah that we really like and we are putting our house for sale on Wednesday, and if we sell in 60 days we are moving to Utah"... SURPRISE!  What?! I read the whole email a few times in shock, because that’s like the typical thing that happens to a missionary, right? Ha-ha. After halfway processing, I turn around and announce to the whole internet cafe, "My family is selling the house!" Ha-ha everyone was laughing. My family is crazy right?!   No one freak out too much, if everything works out they won’t be moving until June.  But yea what an email! (Mom you can cut this if it’s a secret or something...)
OK so back to the mission, things are moving right along here. Well, time is moving right along. Other things, not so much, but we are trying. We actually didn't have the most successful week. I was really hoping to have the wedding-baptism of Familia Martinez...but they still aren't ready. Mostly Hna Patricia isn't ready. We don’t know what to do with her! She tells us she wants to keep going to her old church. Like I've said a million times, the churches here are crazy and just yell and scream, so I have no idea why she wants to keep going to that church, by herself, while her husband and kids come with us to the beautiful chapel here in Muluá. But we are really trying to go about things as Jesus Christ would, with love and all. Whew. I just know they are going to get baptized, and you better believe that they’ll be getting baptized in the next month and a half. But we will have to work hard at it. 
We are also working with a young family where the husband, Ludwing, is an inactive member, but his wife, Idelia, isn't (I don’t remember if I already explained about them). They have a little baby girl. They are a special family and we really had some special experiences with them this past week. We've been going with them for like 3 weeks, but with little success until this past week. I really think that she’ll be getting baptized in the next few weeks. It’s a little complicated for a few reasons.  Idelia is like SUUUPER shy, super super shy. And from my judgment, she has some learning disabilities or something. She doesn't know anything about religion or God or Jesus or anything, or at least when we asked her she didn't respond at all. That’s kind of a rarity here in Guatemala. So we've got Idelia, who is the focus because we want to baptize her, and then the husband and his family who are all members, some active and some not. They all like to take over the lessons and talk a lot, and Idelia kind of goes unnoticed. When we try to focus on Idelia more, she obviously feels uncomfortable, and when we ask her a really really basic question, she doesn't answer. We are more than happy to wait patiently, to teach slowly (that’s the name of the game here in Guatemala), but the family all get really impatient, and the husband is like "just answer, just say yes or no, just say something, I can’t believe you’re not going to say anything, you just don’t understand"...etc. So as you can imagine, that definitely doesn't invite the spirit at all. And we had tried going to the house at different times, but there’s never any telling who’s going to be around. So we were really hoping and praying so much for the opportunity to have a nice, spiritual lesson with Idelia, without the whole family, just her and her husband or something like that.  The lord blessed us. We went last Wednesday, and somehow we got just Idelia and Ludwing. We sang and prayed.  I was praying hard in my heart for the right words to say. We ended up sharing what was one of the most basic lessons of my whole mission. My comp said that she was trying to imagine teaching her 5 year old nephew, but she had to be even more basic.  We just used a few pictures of Jesus Christ and talked about how much he loves us. We compared the feelings she has for her baby daughter to the feelings that Heavenly Father has for us. I guess you could say we were trying to help her to get to know Jesus. We asked some good questions, like "would you like to meet Jesus?" "Would you like to talk to Jesus?" and she said yes. I know that they say that yes-no questions are bad, and that everything we said wasn't totally doctrinally correct.  We had to teach that basic. We just simply explained about prayer, that she could talk to Jesus in prayer. Really what we said was so simple, but the spirit was SO STRONG. Oh my goodness!  And the husband, instead of negatively urging his wife to answer, was patiently listening.  He was captivated by the wonderful feelings in the room. His heart was totally softened and it was a miracle.   Not just right then - he hadn't gone to church in a really long time, and wasn't really taking anything in his life seriously.  By the spirit, the lesson gave him a hunger to go to church, to listen to us the next time, to start making small changes in his life.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ is that basic. My own testimony was strengthened a lot in the power of the love of Jesus Christ for us. This was one of the most beautiful lessons in my whole mission. Of course had nothing to do with us missionaries; we didn't say anything fancy at all. Spanish-wise I probably could have given that lesson in the MTC because we just talked really simply. But somehow the spirit was so strong. When we talk about baptism with her, it makes her really nervous.   I know that soon she will want to follow the example of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  It will be wonderful. I am just really grateful for that experience; it’s something I will always remember. I love the Gospel, and when a doubt creeps in, I just have to remember experiences like that. These things are real. God lives, His son is Jesus Christ, and He loves us so much that he suffered everything for us, to give us the chance to come to earth, learn, and to come back to Him. I know that these things are true! Have a great week!!
Hermana Gilland

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