Monday, October 28, 2013

Scattered Tribes

I will not deny The Christ.

This has been a great week. We had 3 terrible days, and some amazing days too. Talk about roller coaster season.

Just going to get the random stuff out first, and then tell you about my week. First, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOMORROW DAD! Hope all is great, and i cant even remember how old you are turning, and i refuse to do the math. I already passed calculus, remember?
Something way cool is Elder Major from PG is in my zona! He is the Elder who is really good family friends with my second family, the Wilsons. And guess what? His comp is DL and so is mine. SOOOO we are doing splits tomorrow and Elder Major is going to be my comp for a day in Monjas! We will send pics:)

We had a great week, and found some awesome families, butttt none came to church. YEP. Welcome to Monjas:)

One lady and her family we found and taught was a lady named Maria. We have contacted twice in the street, but could never find her house. Then the Sisters contacted her and she gave them her number. We called and after going to her house 3 times we finally found her. We had the impression to teach the plan of salvacion, and turns out her parents abandoned her and died when she was 3, so it was a very personal but amazing lesson. Didnt come to church, but we are going to work with her:)

We had a noche de hermanamiento out in the boonies with a less active family, and a ton a members came. They told us to prepare a lesson, when we got there it just ended up being a niños bday and we had a piñata, and didnt even share anything. So that was interesting... haha.

The family that makes our dinners, Familia Sican, we out of town on Thursday, so they make some panqueque mix, and left it for us, and gave us a key to their house so we could make it for dinner. We showed up, turned on the lights, and 50+ cucharachas went scattering all over the table and left our food. SOOO we dumped everything down the pila and made the dishes "dirty", and then we went and bought dinner at a local restaurant. Fam Sican still dont know... haha.

The Cucharachas are not why i titled my email Scattered Tribes. I titled it because we had interviews with Pres Stay this week, and i asked him a question that had been really bothering me. Why am i supposedly a chosen child of God? Called to serve and spread the true gospel to people who are already too wrapped up in their Evangelico churches. He reminded me that hardly NO ONE will accept our message. But, there are the few, the scattered tribes of Israel, that we are picking out of the hay pile. It isnt easy, but they are out there, we just have to find them.

My scripture is 2 Nephi 31:14. Sit down before you read it, because it is a sucker punch to the yayas.

Hope all is well, and thank you so much for all the love and prayers from back home! Love you all and the church is still true. Dont worry, nothing has changed.

Elder Nathan Russell Walton

Monday, October 21, 2013

I Hate Mosquitos!

So I dont really have TOO much to write about this week. I progressively got more and more sick this week with dangue. It got to a point where i couldnt move my eyes or it would just kill my head so bad. BUT, i feel almost 100% now, and i am doing a lot better. Thanks for all your prayers, I know that and a priesthood blessing is what helped me get back on my feet. BUT, since i have been sick, we didnt get to work as much as we would've liked this week.... Nothing too exciting happened. At least, nothing worth sharing.

All of our investigators DIDnt come to church yesterday becuase they were all either working, and were not home when we stopped by. So that was a bummer. Since i dont have anything good to share this week, i will just share my general feelings about the mission.

I forgot what a hot shower feels like. I got some rashes, and my feet are just one big calais. I got a pretty cool tan line where my watch is, and i am dang good a shaving my face. The language is so weird, i dont know when i started understanding it, but i do. It just takes time i guess. I dont speak it perfectly, and it is SO annoying when the guates correct me.... but besides that, the language comes.

I love the mission, sometimes it is easy to get down on myself, but I always end up in a good mood at the end of the day. The harder we work, the better i feel. That is why this week has been rough, because we were not able to work as hard as we would have liked, so i got pretty down.

Monjas is great, and i have come to love it. The branch is doing... okay. The problem is that a lot of people always talk about all the good they are going to do, and people (including ourselves sometimes) dont follow through with their commitments. It is hard to keep the shaky members active, and the active members positive. I dont want to sound negative, i am just sharing what it is like. We are working hard, and i have really grown close to some the of members. Some of them do truly have the desire to help the branch grow and get back to where is was a long time ago.

The culture is so different here, and the people are so blunt about everything. It is so fun though, and i am growing to love the country and culture. I almost have forgotten what it is like back there in Utah, no joke. I obviously still miss you all a lot though!

My testimony of the Book of Mormon grows everyday, and there is absolutely no way it isnt 100% true. Joseph Smith was a chosen called prophet of God, and probably the greatest man to walk this Earth besides our Savior Jesus Christ. I love the examples that the prophets in the BoM are to all of us, and there are so many great stories we can learn from. I started reading the BoM in spanish about 2 months ago and i am in Jacob... i am slowly getting there, and i got to a point where i can read without using my english version next to me. I just read, and understand it. It is amazing how real the gift of tongues is the the power of God is so mighty.

I love you all so much, and I am thankful for the letters, emails, and gifts that i have gotten from you all. Thanks for being the best support ever, and i love you all with all my heart. Thanks for everything and always remember to turn to the Lord for help.

Elder Nathan Russell Walton

Monday, October 14, 2013

Another Change Finished

Hey family and everyone else!

This last week has been pretty good. It went by super fast because we had a lot going on! It has been raining a ton still which is super weird because supposedly the rain season is over. I am just going to skip all the little details of the week up until Friday. We did divisions with the ZLs again because they had to do our baptismal interview for Hermanita Sayri Portillo (i am not sure if i have mentioned her before). E Buckley and I were contacting in an area i have never contacted before, and we were just hitting houses. He was talking to some lady, so i just went down the street a little more, and knocked on a door. It didnt look like anyone lived there, but i had the feeling i should knock their door anyways. A young pregnant mom came out, and it was a lady that i had contacted up the road the day before, and we actually had a cita with her at 530 that afternoon. So i told her we would come back, and she said she would be waiting with her husband. We went back and they are one of the coolest couples i have ever met. We taught them the restauration and they both mentioned how they felt something special. We committed them to coming to church and they were both really excited to go. Their names are Hugo and Haydee and they are amazing!

Anyways the baptism of Hermana Sayri was on Saturday and she asked me to baptize her, so that was a really cool experience. Her mom and older brother are less actives that we are reactivating and her cousins and Grandma too. About half the cousins came to the baptism, and her stepdad who isnt a member came too. I think he really enjoyed it, and so we are going to try to work with him too. It was an amazing baptism, and The Lord has really blessed us.

On Sunday we were to Hugo and Haydees and they were all ready in sunday clothes. Which is super rare because half the members dont even wear sunday dress. It was testimony meeting, and i think they really liked it. Also i taught sunday school so i was able to focus my lesson on them too. They left after the 2nd hour and we are going to teach them on Wednesday.

Now for the crazy parts of the week. I HAVE DANGEY. That disease that mosquitos carry around....? Yeah, i have it. So these last 5 days have been miserable. I have been able to get out of bed and force myself to go work... but it hasnt been easy. I finally allowed myself to call the nurse this morning and she told how to take care of it... it is going to take some time though. Dont worry too much about me, just i definitely will appreciate all your prayers!

Thanks so much for everything, and i love you all. You are all in my prayers, and we are working hard!!

We found out the changes last night, and E White and I are together here in Monjas for at least 6 more weeks.

Thanks for everything, and we are working hard and trying to find those who are ready to receive the Lords gospel here in Monjas Guatemala.

Love you all so much,

Elder Nathan Russell Walton
My adorable baptism

This is Elder Cabosmalon who is in an area in Jalapa who was baptizing too. He is from Arequipa Peru.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel

Dang, was conference not so amazing? I think it was one of the most directed conferences i have ever heard, all leaning towards the members and women. Pretty crazy.

This week was pretty good! We had our Zone conference and so Pres Stay and his wife came and it was an all morning/afternoon thing. Our president is really picking up the expectations of the mission, and the pressure is on. We arent hear to mess around. After the zone conference i started a two-day splits with the ZLs. So i was in Jalapa in their area with Elder Buckley from Lehi. It was pretty cool, and he taught me a lot on teaching, he really know how to connect with everyone he talks with and teaches so i am trying to increase my ability to do that. I can teach fine, and the language isnt too much of a barrier anymore, i just want to be able to connect with the people better. It was a lot of fun to do spilts and we found this awesome family! We contacted them, and they let us in for a quick 15 minutes lesson. The father instantly opened up and told us that he has problems with alcohol and wants to change. I was able to explain to him that that is why we are here, to help him with whatever he needs, and to bring him and his family closer to Christ. We went back the next day and taught them the Restauration. Even though they arent married but have for kids, E Buckley still invited them to be baptized and they agreed, but the man asked "dont we have to be married?" They explained that is something they would like to do along with baptism and it was so amazing! The spirit was so strong and the language wasnt fatiguing me at all while i taught them. I have never seen anyone have the desire to change so strongly, honestly. The ZLs are still teaching the family and they will be baptized the month.

Some cool stories that happened this week.... well it is Sugar Cane season and all this little kids walk around selling sugar cane sticks that look like giant bamboo. We bought some for 5 quetzals and it is amazing! You just break the stick, peel off the bark, and then bite the flesh, and suck out the sugar.... pretty cool.

Weird story is we contacted a lady named Lydia in the street and put a cita with her, so she gave us the description of her house. We went two days latter and this grumpy old lady came to the door. "Is lydia here?" No. I dont know who lydia is. "Really, this is the house she told us she lives in." Nope, wrong house, dont know lydia..... SO we contacted her and asked her her name. LYDIA. hahaha so i asked "So you dont have a daughter named lydia then?" NO. "okay well is there a day that we could come back and share a message with you?" NO, i dont like any religion on this earth.
HAHA so we just left..... later that night my comp called Lydia (the daughter) and turns out she does live there and that was her crazy mom. I dont think we will be going back anytime soon...

Well conference was amazing. We watched all 5 sessions at the church, and us American missionaries crammed in the Stake Presidents office and watched it in english on saturday. And on sunday we watched it in the Stake High Council room, in english. It was so great and i loved every talk. I could honestly go off talking about every single talk in this email, but the only one i want to address was by Elder Edward Dube.
"NEVER LOOK BACK. LOOK AT WHAT WE STILL HAVE TO DO." I love that quote so much, and it is now my motto on the mission. I complete 4 months in the mission this week, and i am never going to look back, and just keep looking forward. This motto can apply to the mission, repentance, our baptism covenants, enduring to the end, our goal to enter the temple, etc. It was so great, and the talk by Elder Edward Dube really had a good affect on me.

Thank you so much for all your support, and i love you all so much. I miss you, and the conference made me miss you all a little more, but not TOO much:) Thank you for your prayers, and remember, never look back.

Love you all,
Elder Nathan Russell Walton

As Elder Walton puts it "Watching conference as the Gringos!"