How is the freezing cold there in the States? I have heard it is freezing in Utah! I did see snow on the top of the volcano but the temp is always very nice. People around here say that Huehue has the best climate in the world. My leg is doing well. I am just being patient because Doctor D-- said it should be no less than 6 weeks. I am in good shape. I just need to keep being obedient and praying for the strength to overcome my trials.
Okay, so the quote for this week is a good one, especially for missionaries. "You can often gauge a man's ambition by whether he hates his alarm clock or considers it his best friend."
This week was absolutely crazy with all the conferences. We were really busy all the time. We had the opportunity to hear from Elder James Martino. He was incredible. He is a Seventy, is from Texas but he speaks incredible Spanish and is truly a disciple of Christ. He did make one rule for all of the Elders in the mission. We all have to speak 2 hours of English every day. He said that non English speakers have to know English when they go home. He said that in El Salvador Latinos will make an average of $1200 dollars a year more if they know English and here in Guatemala it is $800, but that is a lot because they do not make a lot down here in the first place. He asked how many of us listened to the Prophet this past general conference. All the Latino Elders raised their hands and he said something like, "No you didn't. You listened to a translator who does not have the same emotion." He was pretty bold about it, but we are going to have a problem. They are withdrawing the amount of gringos in this mission. It was 50/50 when I got here, but the past two groups have been 10 gringos and 40 Latinos, so English will be a great opportunity for them.
Right now my favorite talk that I am listening to is, "From Leaders to Managers: The Fatal Shift," by Hugh Nibley given at BYU Commencement in 1983.
This week I had a great experience. I was able to see myself being used as the Lord's hand and I was so grateful for that experience. This week Elder S---, the Latino Assistant to the President, told me to get in the truck - that we were going to a meeting. This was the first division I have been on with one of the APs. We drove to the other side of Xela and went to a chapel. He told me we were there for a meeting with the Elders in that area and the ward mission leader because they have some contention and we were going to check it out. So we walked in and the mission leader was surprised that we were there. He was talking to us like we were the big men on campus and so Elder S--- introduced us. He said, "I am the assistant to the president and this is one of his secretaries." At this time, the ward mission leader thinks I have probably a year or so in the mission. We were ready to start the meeting and he asked Elder S--- to offer the first prayer. He said the prayer and then I was asked if I would share a spiritual thought. I was like, "Oh dang." I have been in the office and my Spanish is a little rusty, but I decided I would do what the scriptures say to do which is to open your mouth and it shall be filled.
So, I went up there and started opening up to a scripture. Later I wondered how I chose that scripture and I realized there was no logical thinking involved in selecting it. It was pure Spirit. I opened to D & C 121: 7-8. "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." Classic scriptures. I had Elder S--- read them and I explained that we all have trials for a reason and we are all going to have trials in our lives and how we overcome them is what is important. I explained that my leg problem has been hard but I have looked at what it has taught me and I have grown so much. I explained that in times of trouble you need to have sore knees resulting from the prayers you offer because that is the only thing you can do. We should not pray to make our circumstances better, we should pray to have the strength to overcome our trials and learn from them. We need to meet trials head on with an eternal perspective and we will learn a lot more from our challenges. I then sat down and looked at the ward mission leader and he was staring at me with tears rolling down his cheeks with a face of gratitude and he told me that that was what he had been looking for for weeks. He had been having a lot of trials and he said I was an answer to his prayers. He said, "Your few words had such power." Then he thanked me. He then took a minute to gather himself and we continued on with the meeting. He asked me after the meeting how much time I had been out and I told him almost 2 months in the field. I'm still a newbie. I learned right there that Spanish is secondary to the Spirit and you never know when the Lord needs you as a tool and you better be ready to do it. I look back on it now and think, "Why was I there with Elder S---? And why did I just happen to have my scriptures?" I was prepared to represent the Lord by being obedient and staying focused on the work. God works in mysterious ways, and I will never forget that experience. I am so grateful for all the support from my family and friends. Love you guys so much. Well, talk to you next week.