Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy 4th of July!

Heyyy friends! :)

First off, HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!! I hope you all are enjoying the best holiday in the world. As you are celebrating, just know that there are a whole bunch of American missionaries in Guatemala celebrating along with you! I may or may not have sang my companion a lovely version of The Star-Spangled Banner last night in anticipation for the big day. ;) Haha but I hope you have all had a great day! I expect pictures!

This week has been GREAT! We´ve seen so much progress in the branch as well as with our investigators, and we´ve really been able to see God´s hand here in the work.

We have a new investigator! Her name is Leri, and she is the grandmother of a girl in our ward who is preparing for a mission! We went to visit her a few days ago thinking she was a less-active, but while we were talking to her and getting to know her a bit she told us she´s never been baptized! Haha so that was funny. But she told us she was going to get baptized a while ago, but then she got really sick and had to go to the hospital for a while and was never baptized. But she still wants to get baptized, she´s just a little scared because she´s still pretty sick and doesn´t want the water to make it worse. But we´re going to keep teaching her and I know she is going to be baptized very soon! :)

So that was great! Maricela and her family are also progressing well! They went to church for the first time yesterday! I´m pretty sure they loved it. Sairy is also doing pretty good! We have an appointment to talk to her husband and her tomorrow to see if we can teach them both why it´s so important that they get married by law, and then she can get baptized! It´s amazing how we still have time to work with investigators here. We literally only actually proselyte for only 1 or 2 hours a day, but somehow God still guides us to prepared people! It´s so great that He blesses us despite our lack of time. We have plans to challenge all of our investigators to baptism tomorrow, so please pray for us and them!

The branch is also progressing A TON! We´ve been working super hard with them, and it´s improving so much. Yesterday we had 54 people in church! That was the most we´ve had since I arrived here. A bunch of less-actives that we´ve been working with showed up for the first time in a while, so that was awesome! We were able to extend a bunch of new callings and help organize the branch more in a lot of different ways. The main problem in the branch is that there is practically nobody who feels comfortable giving any sort of class...but we´re going to have a training/practice with all of the newly called teachers this week to hopefully build up their confidence a little bit!

That´s about it for this week! Right now our work is based around activating people to be able to have a high attendance for our district conference in three weeks, where Elder Lopez of the Seventy is going to come! This will be the first time that a general authority has come to this area of Guatemala, so that´s pretty sweet! We have a goal to bring sixty people, and it looks like we´re well on our way! I´m so excited!!!

Have a great week everyone!

-Elder Thomas :)

A portion of Dylan's letter to mom (referring to his cousins who are currently serving in CA:

 The difference between a missionary serving in the States and one serving a Spanish-speaking mission: The ones serving in the States come home speaking more maturely and eloquently, while we come home speaking some sad sort of Spanglish mess. Haha but I guess that´s alright. I´ve definitely matured a lot as well, even if it doesn´t show in my voice. ;) God does only give us challenges that we can handle. For example, I get really really really angry when I contact someone and they slam a door in my face or get angry with me. So that´s why God sent me to a place where that doesn´t happen too often! And Austin and Mckade definitely deal with that a lot more than I do, I´m sure. But I know that God has put me here for a reason, to be able to help the lives of the people here and so they can help me in my life as well. And I definitely see His help every day!

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