Monday, November 25, 2013

Monjas for Life

So we found out the changes last night, and I am staying for another six weeks at least with Elder White! I am happy because we have some potential baptisms soon, but i dont why Presidente Stay is keeping me here. It is such a hard area, and i feel like i would be more useful somewhere else. It is sometimes frustrating watching an Elder from my group who is here in Jalapa have 9 baptisms and in Monjas.... baptizing doesnt rain too often. But, both the sisters in Monjas have changes and theyre way sad. I told Hna Martin, I dont know why Pres Stay is keeping me in Monjas, and she said "It isnt him who is keeping you there." That definitely made me feel dumb and humbled. I read a quote in a talk from Elder Holland a couple days ago and it says, "Be reassured of Heavenly Father´s abundance towards YOU." I definitely need to count my blessings as i am sure we all do.

On Tuesday i did splits and went to one of the wards in Jalapa with Elder Lopez from Mexico. He speaks SUPER fast and it definitely made me realize i need to be more humble about my progress in spanish, and therre is a lot of room to learn, always. I had trouble understanding him and always had to ask him to repeat things if i wasnt listening to him.

SO WAS THANKSGIVING THIS LAST WEEK? No one in Guate knows whether or not.... but sounds like it is this next week right? Hope a happy thanksgiving to all, and i am so thankful for you my family, friends, and lovedones. I am so thankful for the oportunity to be a missionary and i am so glad that i am here and not there!:P

On thursday we brought a less active teenager who is in town from the capital with us to some lessons. He didnt say a word, but i think that our lessons and examples as missionaries helped him, and he came to stake conference in a white shirt and tie yesterday which was cool.

This weekend was a Stake Conference thru Satelitte, so Pres Eyring, and Elder Scott spoke to the people of Guatemala and it was amazing. They talked about the importance of women, and how much growth has happened here recently. They talks were great and Elder Scott speaks great spanish btw. Our best investigator Eduardo (18 yrs old) came with us all the way to Jalapa and really liked the conference. This week he said he wasnt ready to accept a baptismal date, but i think this next week he will, becuase he loved conference so much. He is a shyer kid, and has to talk care of his whole family becuase dad is in US, so he isnt much of a jokester or teenager. He is super humble and so great.

The coolest thing from this whole week is Hermano Salvador Salguero (my convert with one leg) was sustained to the office of Elder yesterday and received the melquisedec priesthood. He is so amazing and is bringing to many to the church by his example. He lives in the Progreso Branch now, so i wasnt able to be there for the confirmation, but i am still so happy and proud of him.

Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving and i love you so much.
"I´ve never been afraid to lose." - Michael Jordan

Elder Nathan Russell Walton

Monday, November 18, 2013

Nuns Are Cool

So this week was the great catholic missionary week in monjas. The catholics took over the town, and it was... interesting... the worst part is they would march in the streets singing, praying, and waving flags, and one morning i got woke up at 5 am to 1000 catholics marching down the road... CRAZY! we got a solid 22 people at church yesterday, and i have definitely been super humbled this week. The Lord has helped us, but it hasnt been easy at all.

Lets start with last week. We went to the volcan of ipala and took pictures last pday and it was SO pretty! i will send pics after i send this email:) it was a super hard hike and we almost killed the sister in our district, but they got up and down safely so no worries:)

I completed 5 months last week and i cant believe how quick it has gone! although i havent had too much success when it comes to baptizms, i have learned so much, and i feel like a different person (for the better of course). I realized something almost as fulfilling and satisfying in the mission is reactivating families! We have helped 3 families get back to church and somewhat active. One family hadnt come for 8 years, the other for 4. So that is great and humble feeling, that we are able to help them remember their testimonies.

Speaking of amazing experiences. So my first convert Hermano Salvador moved with his family to the town over. Turns out the Elders are teaching them, and Hermano Salvador is helping them convert the whole family of his stepson. His stepson Eduardo and two of his sons are members. But now his wife, and 2 other sons are listening to the lessons and one son has a baptismal date! The wife never listened to us in Monjas because she is hardcore Evangelica, BUT since they moved she is going to a new church in the new town, and is listening and accepting the missionaries! SO COOL. Ill keep you updated on what comes of family Linares (family of Hno Salavadors stepson).

So our one investigator had her baby last sunday, so they didnt come to church yesterday either. Which means they cant get baptized this saturday... which is super frustrating. Transfers are next tuesday and i am probably going to leave Monjas, it is sad because we have 5 great investigatores and i wont get to be here when they get baptized.. if they do. I am going to work hard this last week in Monjas, and there still is a slight chance i wont get transfereed but who knows?

We planned an activity on Thrusday and it was SUCH a great turn out. We got the family of Maria Jose there, and an 18 yr old Eduardo. And an inactive family randomly showed up. It was a great turn out, and a fun activity. The sisters planned a bunch of "minute to win-it" games, so it got a little crazy. After a little awkwardness, everyone lost there pride and started participating and it was great.

This week has been hard, but good. Last night we taught Maria Jose and her husband Saul about the Book of Mormon. She has been super sick, and wasnt able to come to church yesterday. But they let us in, and we brought an RM from the branch with us, Hna Alma. We had a super spiritual lesson, and they are acceptive. I know they will get baptized when the time is right, we just got to get them to church.

I have learned so much this week, and i know that even though we havent had much success, and some how things end up going wrong, The Lord is blessing us personally. I know that my Heavenly Father loves me, and is happy with our work here in Monjas. Maybe the time isnt right for the people we teach, but i know that we are helping them become a little closer to there Heavenly Father. I am so thankful for the atonement, and Christs life por us.

Thank you for all your support, and remember how important missionary work is, even if you arent a missionary. I am in a small town with 25 active members, and too many inactives. The church is growing, but we cant forget about the strayed sheep. Every little effort helps.

Love, Elder nathan russell walton

Elder Walton at the Volcano. 
(Apparently pointing is now super cool in pictures. Please take note of this for your next pictures.)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Just Getting Prepared...


It started yesterday... and it is going to be a long... week. There are nuns walking all around towns, and people follow them around with huge flags basically worshiping them... it is super creepy. There are also decorations all over town... i will make sure to take some pics!

Some crazy stuff that happened is last week we realized that a teacher blessed the sacrament... welcome to the Monjas Guate Branch. We met Lorenzo Snows great grandson... this random amercian who married a guatemalan and comes down twice a year... we gave him a BoM and he says that he still has family in Utah.. Obviously.

Our investigators that are supposed to be baptized in two weeks are in the hospital because the wife is having her baby! Finaaly! They are a great couple, and we had a great couple lessons with them this week. The spirit was so strong... and the only reason people know our message is true is thru the spirit.

We did some service on wednesday and i have had gross popped blisters on my hands all week... yeah my missionary hands have gotten pretty soft and girly. :(

So the best story from this week ill tell you right now. So the sisters in monjas had a baptism on Saturday. It was at 5 pm and during the middle of the day when we had a bunch of appointments. For some reason, even though the whole branch was going, we didnt feel like we should go to the baptism. We both felt like we needed to go to these appointments we had put. We ended returning to a ladys house, shes named Marie Jose... and her husband and daughter came and listened to our lesson. We taught them the Restoration, and it was amazing. They loved the story and faith of Joseph Smith and are determined to find out if our church is true. They are such and amazing family, and the wife was so happy she was actually crying... which is weird. Just as a young new couple they have had a hard time deciding what church to attend, and they were so thankful for our message.

Yesterday was Sunday. After some amazing lessons and a good week. NO ONE, was able to go to chruch. THey all had commitments... well i guess having a baby and giving birth counts, but still. Anyways i was super frustrated, and disappointed in my Heavenly Father... I didnt understand why.. during sacrament I read D&C 88:65 and wow.... then right after sacrament an 18 year old we are teaching showed up, and stayed for the last two classes and loved the church. The Lord always finds a way to humble me... and i always find myself being humbled... more than i like it sometimes;)

We bought some crappy hotdogs in the street and blew 7 Quetzales on it... also i decided Satan does anything in his power to stop the spirit from being in lessons. Everytime we teach the Restoration i always feel like distracting start coming around the exact moment we start teaching about Joseph Smith.. it is so crazy and scary. But The Lord always overcomes.

Thank you for the emails, prayers, and all the love! i am so thankful for everyone... and i know that the lord is hastening his work. Love you all. Sorry if my emails back are short today, we are writing early because we are off to hike a volcano today! Ill send pics!
Love you all so much, church is true, peace out.

Elder Nathan Russell Walton

Monday, November 4, 2013

About to Take the Step


Okay so besides that... it has been a good week. We are teaching some great families and hopefully this week we can put some baptismal dates with them.... we fasted super hard this weekend, and we are trying to stay positive and invite the spirit to testify to the people of monjas. So this week was not too exciting... but it was good!

On Tuesday i did splits with Elder Major from PG, and it was fun to be the senior companion for the day. I am amazed at how far my spanish has come, and the gift of tongues was definitely with me that day. The gift of tongues is so real, some days the language is easy to speak and understand, and then i find myself struggling to speak other days. I just need to keep showing faith and practicing so i can get rid of my bad language days.

It was a lot of fun to be with Elder Major. We did some good contacting and teaching. Although his spanish isnt the best, he has the desire to work and talk with everyone, and i can see the drive in him, that i didnt have when i entered the field... so that was inspiring. We also had a branch activity... My convert Hermano Salvador and his family moved to El Progreso (20 minutes from Monjas) and is in a different branch, so we had a going away party with him. It was really neat and i learned how to make pupusas with E Major (Salvadoreano food).

We had some other great activities and experiences this week. I have officially decided that the Book of Mormon is the greatest thing known to man. My most spiritual and amazing lessons i have been in have been when we are teaching about the Restoracion and Joseph Smith. The book of mormon and the First Vision is the story and message we share.. not the plan of salvacion, and not the gospel of Christ. Those too... dont get me wrong... but the most important for the people to hear is the restoracion. Sometimes it is intimidating or scary to share the Restoracion, because you dont want them to go crazy on you, or ask difficult quesitons. But the spirit is ALWAYS there, and i can truly testify of the realness of the Spirit and him as a companion. The world needs to hear about Jose Smith, The BoM, and the restoracion of the gospel... that is why we are missionaries.

So some cool stories from this week.... Well Hugo and Haydee (recently married couple) came to chruch for the second time:) I saw a teenager wearing a inter Fc jersey form UTAH. on the front it said hahaha lots of donated clothing comes here, and they sell them in "American" stores or pacas.

Me and my comp are super tight with the PIMP of the town basically... hes got SWAG. He name is Jesus, and he thinks we are his homeboys. We are going to teach him on Thursday... that should be interesting.. haha

Another story is i did splits of Friday with the ZLs and i went to Jalapa with Elder Huayta from Peru. He is a super good missionary and i learned a lot from him. It was the first time being with a latino comp.. and understanding basically everything he said. We threw a rock at a bull, i hit it in the head. Long Story:)

Well everyone read Mosiah 4:17 :)

Love you all and thank you for your emails and letters. Thank you for the support and you are all in my prayers. The church is true... even when you turn the nob and there isnt water... for 2 days:)

Love you all.
Elder Nathan Russell Walton
Elder Walton's little friend