So first off sorry if my letter is poorly written... We woke up at 1:30 this morning to catch a bus to the capital... 4 hour bus ride so i could go sign a paper at the office for my visa.. yeah i have been illegal until now.
4 hours?? you are probably all wondering where i am at, huh??
MONJAS! It´s a small pueblo town in the middle of our mission, and it is apart of the Jalapa zona. Before I get writing my letter, two things.
Send all letters to mission office, always:
Elder Nathan Walton
Guate City South Mission
Apartado Postal 340-A
01909 Guatemala City
You can also use dear.elder.com, which is an easy way to write me.
Okay... where to start.... my last week in the CCM was, not fun. I got the flu and was sick the whole time, and laid in bed for one day straight, i survived though and now i am working my butt off in good ole Monjas.
About Monjas, if you are wondering what it is like, just imagen the town in Nacho Libre and there ya go. Seriously though, i have never seen so many poor people, and it is quite the experience. Most houses are falling apart, dirt floors, and dirt everywhere... and i love it.
There is one branch in the town, and only 20 active members... there are about 75 members but not active. We have been working hard to reactivate and got 47 people to church yesterday.
My trainer is Elder Soriano from San Pedro Sula, Honduras, and his first language isnt spanish... it is Garifuna which is a small dialect on the coast. He learned spanish at age 8, and has a thick accent, so basically he is the hardest person in Monjas to understand... but he is great. A little sketchy at times with the rules and all... but we are working on that.
Monjas is full of Evangelicos, Catolicos, and a lot of apostasy... basically everyone here dislikes the Mormon church, and the Preachers and Pastors lately have been bagging on our Church and beliefs.... it is NOT easy.
That first morning i woke up, I seriously was contemplating going home, and asking myself why i am here. According to all the missionaries i talked to before we left the Change Meeting last Tuesday said the Monjas is the hardest area, but the people are great. I definitely can agree with them on that, i am struggling, but staying positive.
I question why The Lord would inspire Pres Stay to send me here, first area, with no experience... He is putting a lot of trust in me, and so i am putting a lot of trust in Him. If it wasnt for my testimony, and faith, i wouldve packed up.
The language is so hard. The CCM was freaking America, and i am in the real world now. I am the only white person within an hour, and no one can speak or even recognize english. They all speak super fast, and it is really frustrating and i get down on myself... but Hermana Stay called Friday night right at the perfect time, and gave me the support i needed. She said that listening and trying to catch words is the first step to learning the language, and that i am not the only one who feels lost right now. I love my Mission Presidents already so much.
We have a baptizmal date for the end of Agosto on her Birthday. Her name is Keslin and she is 18 and fantastic. The Branch loves her and brought her into the family already.
We are teaching a family and the father and son are members inactives. The grandfather is really interested in the church, ex Jehovahs witness, and came to all 3 hours of church ayer. Hopefully we can committ him to bap this week, they are both great.
Besides that we have just tracted, and taught less actives... we get no referalls, because only 20 are active anyways.
There isnt a chapel here, the church is a house thingy in the city with LA IGLESIA DE JESUCRISTO DE LOS SANTOS DE LOS ULTIMOS DIAS on the outside of it... within the next year is our goal to get enough people to have a real chapel.
I hope this doesnt sound like too much complaining... and i know this isnt the most positive email ever.
I do have a testimony, and dont worry, i am not thinking about coming home at all... just that one, maybe two days.
The church is so true, and I know The Lord will bless me with the strength i need to spread the gospel in Monjas, and get the Branch rollin... i just need to learn Spanish first.
I have photos, but i am too lazy to deal with that today... next week, promise.
I love you all and thank you so much for your letters. I am sorry to those i couldnt write back, and i am going to print them out to read today though.
Read 3 nefi 18: 21-24 please... and remember that prayer is so important.
I will hear from you next week.
Que le vaya bien.