Monday, September 30, 2013

October? What?

Well this was easily the fastest week so far. and i know that i said that last week... so it is getting faster and faster and we are working SO hard. I cant believe the other 3 missionaries have been here in Monjas for a month already! so weird... but i love the mission and it has been so great!

We have had some pretty crazy stuff happen lately... in all aspects. My comp and I experienced the weirdest lesson of our lives, and i will tell you about that on Christmas if you remind me! haha.

As for this week i only have a couple stories worth sharing. First, last pday we went to the border of El Salvador because it is in our zona... it wasnt too exciting, but we took a couple pictures. It is weird to think i am only 4 hours MAX away from my bro Grant Rowberry!

So on Wednesday the Hermanas gave a referencia that they contacted in the street. It was a lady who is an inactive member and she invited them over the next day, so the sisters came with and showed us where because it was in our area. Hermana Portillo is her name and she has been inactive for 8 years, but we just shared with her our testimonies and desire for her to return to the church, and she says she really wants to go back! She came to church with her daughter who is 9 and not baptized, and little boy. they stayed all 3 hours and enjoyed it! Some of the members knew her, but others thought she was just an investigator. We have a lesson with her and her family tomorrow and we are hoping that her daughter accepts a baptismal date!

We officially have REACTIVATED a family... into their old Evangelica church. When we started teaching them, they hadnt gone to church in 10 years. So we went yesterday to invite them to church, and they said that theyre going to THEIR church. Hahaha we put fechas with this family too. They wanted to baptized... BUT want to go to their old church. Yeah Elder White and i arent really sure, but we just have kind of laughed it off.

Our investigator Rodrigo is doing good/bad. We had a lesson with him in the church and watched the Joseph Smith movie and he loved it. he reads the BoM everyday, and is gaining a testimony for himself. He ALSO went to an Evangelica church yesterday and has been flaking out on all our citas with him. We go to his house when he tells us to, and he is never there.

My BIRTHDAY was great! My comp bought me a burger and fries and they delievered to our house while we were studying. The hermanas made me a little gift, and the members all went to Familia Escobar and we had cake and they sung to me in the night. It was a lot of fun, and i am really thankful!

D&C 64:9-11 is a great scripture about forgiving and not judging. Me and my comp have been trying to work on our attitude with the people, and not JUDGE them. It is really hard.... we contacted 250+ people this week and nobody really wants anything. Also the people we are teaching arent really progressing. Elder White and i know that if we keep working hard, we will eventually be blessed, even if it isnt here in Monjas.

"Youth are being raised in enemy territory" - Boyd K Packer.
We GOT TO stay close to the gospel!

Thank you so much for you prayers and love, and i love you all so much. Know that we are working hard here in Monjas, and the the mission work is so amazing. Love and miss you all so much, and tell our state of Utah hi for me.

Elder Nathan Russell Walton

"Church Activity Swag" 
I have no idea what's going on in this picture ~Courtney

Soaking wet from all the rain

At the border of El Salvador

Elder Walton's Birthday Cake

Elder Walton and his Birthday Burger

The feet of a missionary

Monday, September 23, 2013

Famous in Monjas

I say we are famous in Monjas because we contacted like crazy people this week. Presidente Stay gave a new rule/expectation that we contact 35 people everyday, 16 lessons with members, and 10 others. Along with our studies, and other affairs, you would know those numbers are basically impossible. 35 contacts everyday adds up to 245 in a week.
Dont worry everyone, Elder White and I pulled a solid 246. We both did about half, and contacting and talking with people has become so easy lately. Although most of them do not really want anything to do with us, they are still always nice. I say we are famous because multiple times we contacted the same person or familia and didnt know it when we started. That leads to the best thing that happened this week....
So we contacted a lady named Erika with her two little sons in a back alley behind the church on Wednesday, and she said to come over the next day. The problem is that there arent addresses in Monjas, so she just told us what block and her door is black. We went to her house on Thursday but she didnt live there... so we got the wrong house, and lost a potential investigator. BUT, Friday night we were contacting and I started talking with her and she said, "yeah we have already talked. we waited for you guys yesterday!" We told her we went, but we got the wrong house. turns out she lives two houses up, and the front door is to a Taller "workshop" and we didnt know that. So we put a cita with her for this Tuesday (tomorrow) and left. But on Saturday we happened to be on her street so we stopped by to invite her to church.... her husband answered the door and told us to come in. Easily the most welcoming family i have met. We invited them to church and they said "Yeah we will come!" Now a lot of people say that... so we didnt actually believe them.
Yesterday morning we were going around Monjas inviting investigatores and members to church and we didnt have time to go by her house. Now this is where the story gets cool... Church started 15 minutes late because the sacrament wasnt prepared, and Erika showed up 10 minutes late and barely made the sacrament blessing! If we hadnt started late, she wouldve missed the most important part. It was really cool and that is the first time someone has come to church that we havent even taught yet. It gets better.... she stayed for all 3 hours because her sons didnt want to leave!
I guess you could say we got a pretty good potential investigator, and i am so excited to go teach them. Yesterday i had the opportunity to speak in church... i dont know how well i did, but i felt good about it. And the language is coming better and better everyday! It is really weird that i am understanding people that i couldnt understand a word they said 5 weeks ago.
So we have had some success this week... but not really. Since Elder White got here, and we started working together we have put 7 baptismal fechas. BUT, they all have fallen besides 2 in October because none of them come to church... Our baptisms for this upcoming Saturday arent going to happen which is a shame because they have progressed so well... they are just, lazy. BUT, we still are going to work with them:)
This week has been the fastest week in the mission, and i am really starting to love the work. I can feel the Lords hand in my life everyday, and Elder White and I are having so much fun. Sometimes too much fun because we couldnt get thru a prayer without laughing for 3 days straight. He is a great missionary, and i am learning SO much from him. He went to Alta and graduated in 11.
I dont really know what else to tell you guys besides i am so thankful for everyone that helped me get to where i am. the mission is so great, and i can feel and see my life changing for the better. The church is true, and always will be. I have a stronger testimony of the Book of Mormon and the Atonement everyday, and i know that we have a Saviour who lives.
Some crazy things this week:
Saw a dog get hit by a car.
Helped a drunk get out of the road.
Got hit on by a group of snakes... gross.
Got preached to when WE were supposed to be teaching...
Walked home in a blizzard of rain last night.
Got attacked by a quorum of dogs... yes quorum.
Love you all so much. I am loving the mission, and i am safe and happy. thank you for everything, and hope all is going to well.
Read 1 Nephi 17:50. I dont remember what it was about, but i read it this week and really liked it! haha
Love you all,
Elder Nathan Walton
ps. if anyone is reading my weekly emails and hasnt emailed me, feel free to do so!:)

Monday, September 16, 2013

La vida de la mision

Well.... this week went SO fast and i cant believe that i am writing you all again! Fetch. So i dont even know where to start with this week. On Monday we were doing splits with the ZLs and Elder Buckley and me put two fechas with Hna Alma and Hno Rodrigo! They are great investigadores and are willing to learn and try new things (like the BoM).
We also did splits with two other elderes in our distrito so i went off to Jalapa for the day and worked with an elder who finishes in a month. and guess what?? We put two fechas bautismales in their area too! It has been crazy! Oh something tight is... the date for Alma and Rodrigo is the 28th of Sept! So if you know me well, that is a pretty sick date.
Some crazy stories from this week is we went to a house to teach a lesson to a familia that we contacted the day before, and their uncle was there from the capital. He started telling us how an angel visits him every morning and tells him things like who is going to Hell and who isnt. One time he told us he asked the angel out of 30 people, how many go to heaven. "3 or 4 at most..." WHAT THE? We quickly ended the lesson and left... it was crazy and every word he said had a bad spirit with it..
This week was crazy in Monjas because yesterday was the 15th of September which is dia de independencia in Guate. So allll week they were partying in the streets; parades, fireworks, water balloons, etc. Also we had 9/11 (hope all was good in the US), 12 of Sept (3 months for me, and 1 year for my comp), friday the 13th as well.... crazy week! On the 12th my comp burned a shirt and tie to celebrate a year... and so i decided to burn a sock! Haha 3 months down, 21 to go:) I got some good video and photos from these last couple weeks!
The last crazy story i want to share is.... we taught a lesson to a girl we contacted.. and her brother DURING OUR LESSON was watching porn right behind us... we could hear it while we taught and prayed.... I dont know what else i should say about that.
Lots of other great things happened this week and cool experiences and stories.
My testimony is growing stronger everyday, and the mission is getting easier as well. I was pretty home sick the first month in the field, but i didnt let it get to me. It is easier now and i am really starting the love the mission work and life! I can honestly testify of the Book of Mormon and i know without a doubt that it is true!
I am thankful that i was able to baptized with the true autoridad of the priesthood, and that i can make covenios with My Heavenly Father and The Lord. (Matt 28:18-19 only scriptures i have to share today).
Thank you for all, and i can feel your love and prayers everyday! The language is coming aswell... slowly, but i can see my progress everyday. I dont understand everything, but i can follow every conversation. Contacting and talking to people is so easy now. In the moment speaking spanish doesnt seem like much, but looking back it is pretty cool that i can talk with these people! The guatemaltechnos are great, and i am learning to love the people everyday.
Thank for everything, and i love you all so much!

Elder Nathan Walton

ps. I weighed myself on a scale in a members home, and with my shoes and clothes i was 205 lbs. So i am guessing i am 195+ lbs.... and i was 180 when i left for the CCM.
"In Monjas, we talk clear"

View from the balcony

Elder Walton burning his sock to commemorate his 3 months

"Live Monjas! The future is in your hands"

Nate and his new companion

Monday, September 9, 2013

Work on Work on Work

Monjas has 4 gringos. That is right. FOUR! I can honestly confirm and testify that Presidente Stay receives revelation, and knew who to send to Monjas.
What else? The other companionship is sisters! Although the branch doesnt have much priesthood, the branch also needed sisters which was a good move by the Pres again.
My companion has a year in the field, and his name is Elder White from Sandy, UT. It is so different contacting, and teaching with a gringo like him and the mission actually feels like a mission now! We are working our butts off and i have never felt better in the mission! Yesterday we had 3 investigadores at church that we contacted and taught a quick lesson about the Plan of Salvation on Friday. They agreed to come to church, so saturday we taught about the Sabbath day! It has been amazing, and i am loving the work more and more. The one investigador Hermano Rodrigo stayed for all 3 hours too, which was dope. Idk how else to put it. DOPE.
The first couple days were a little difficult having to show my comp and the hermanas all the members and investigadores and just Monjas overall. I was a little overwhelmed, but the Branch is supporting us a TON and have helped the sisters out a lot. It is a little difficult because Hna Sanchez (Ut) is training a greenie Hna Martin (Az)... so when we are together we gotta try really hard to speak spanish. Dont worry about my spanish though, me and Elder White only speak spanish to each other until we finish planning at night. It has been a lot of fun and we are doing a lot of good work! i hope all is well back home with everyone, and you are all in my prayers.
The Lord puts us thru a hot fire at first so we can burn off our imperfections, and i am definitely burning off a lot. I have never prayed so hard in my life, and i can see The Lords hand in my life on the daily. It has been pretty amazing and i dont know what else i should say besides thank you for all your prayers, and just know that Monjas has done a complete 180 and we are going up hill with the work. My spanish is really coming, and i am getting to a point that i understand 80-90%... and speaking the language just comes with practice.!
Please read 3 Nefi 12:43-44 and also 13:5-6. I think these are doctrines that we need to follow and always remember as members and representatives of the Church of Christ.
Love you all and thank you so much! Monjas is great!
Elder Walton

Monday, September 2, 2013

Well... this is going to be interesting

I dont want to start this email with anything besides, DANG. So i have officially finished my first cambio in the field and tomoroow is the meeting of changes. Usually you have your trainer for two cambios (12 weeks) but because of what happened two weeks ago. Last night we received the call and all 3 missionaries besides me are being transfered tomorrow. Therefore i am receiving a Stepdad, and the mission work of Monjas is all in my hands. I am going to have to show those 3 elderes everything in the area this week. So keep my sanity and patience in your prayers!

Last Pday after writing i was super bummed out... and i was not happy with the mission or anything. I got talking with an elder in my zona who was in the MTC with me and he completely changed my attitude about the mission. I think it is because i am so hard on myself always, that i wasnt enjoying the mission. BUT this last week i had a new attitude and it was the fastest week ever! We worked harder and harder and i absolutely love the mission and MONJAS!

This week was so much different than the first month and a half... i am completely accustomed to the mission life now.. like Dogs, BOOBS (breat feeding is public), freezing cold showers, weird looks from everyone, and the language of spanish. I feel the love and help from the Lord everyday with the language and gift of tongues.

The language you just got to lose your pride, and JUST DO IT!

Yesterday i had the opportunity to bear my testimony and it was amazing and i love the Branch. I can feel the spirit with me everyday, even though The adversary is working hard...

GUESS WHAT??? Keslin wants to receive our lessons again... and her little evangelica sister! With soriano leaving tomorrow Keslin and her sister are all up to me and the spirit... i am SO excited!

Last thing before ending this short email... I AM SO FAT. My pants are struggling to fit, and i have easily put on 10-15 lbs since i left, no joke. You might not be able to see it in the photos because they are mostly from my first two weeks and in the MTC.

I love you all and thank you so much for all you prayers.

Read 3 Nephi 3:20-10 and then 3 Nephi 3:12. Trust in the Lord can destroy all fear of the Adversary... and there will always be people against us, we can back down. We are the army of The Lord.

Love you all, Elder Walton

Elder Walton with a machete 

Lovely hats!

Rain, Rain, Go Away