Friday, December 30, 2016

Christmas Skype

Our Christmas Skype was fabulous!  Seeing and speaking with your missionary is such an incredible gift and Elder Lott is doing great!  He said he had been practicing English in the mirror before we connected. We wanted to share him with all of you so here he is:

video
 You will probably not be able to view this clip from a hand held device...try your computer :)

We coordinated our Christmas call just briefly on Christmas Eve.  He said the streets there were PACKED with SO many people and SO much traffic!  They were able to get all of their shopping done and had small gifts for some families and little treats for the kids.  They were excited for Christmas Day and truly had the Christmas Spirit.

Their agenda for Christmas Day was filled from like 6 o'clock until 9 o'clock.  They had dinner planned with seven different families.  (I'm so grateful for all of these good people!) Elder Lott thought he might gain 20 pounds on Christmas.  He was hoping for a variety in the menu but was expecting tamales as that is the traditional Christmas Dinner there. He said they celebrate differently in Guatemala.  The tradition there is everyone gets a new outfit on Christmas Eve.  (I love the simplicity and may need to adopt that tradition!)

When we Skyped on Christmas, they were awaiting transfer information from the Assistants.  We did get a P-Day update Monday afternoon: 

Alright so transfers..... well me and my companion are both staying actually!! New elders are coming to the two areas that we are missing.  Elder Brubaker is going to be training a new elder and that's about it!  Super crazy transfers! I'm actually super excited about it!! One more transfer to baptize all those that we couldn't baptize this month :)
  
We got the thumbs up on the new place we found! The new place will have water always.... that's what the owners told us anyway... probably be warmer too cause it's on the second floor and not like basement level right?  We found a member with a truck and he is going to help us move all of our stuff….beds, refrigerator, everything!

I’m looking forward to working with all the missionaries this week and the monthly meeting we have with all the other leaders on Thursday!!

Adios 💗
Elder Lott

 Elder Brubaker and Elder Lott - Guatemala City Temple Grounds - December 2016

Friday, December 23, 2016

Merry Christmas!

I´m exhausted!  We have had a busy day doing service.  We went and weeded a garden and moved lots of dirt and rock for a family that´s going to be adding on to their house.  We were using like a little wheelbarrow that´s pretty beat up but it got the job done.  The service is for a family we have been working with.  Their little guy is the one who was going to be baptized on Christmas Eve but it looks like we are going to have to put that on hold because his parents aren’t in agreement.   Their son is super interested.  He loves the gospel has made lots of friends.  We are working hard trying to win the hearts of the parents.


 
The pictures were of our Christmas devotional with President and Sister Crapo. It was super fun.  It was a FEAST. It was like a buffet and it was SO good.  They gave us fun gifts and it was a riot with all the other missionaries there too.  I love those meetings!

Elder Yama already went home! Can you believe that?  It´s so crazy...when I started the mission he only had 6 months in the mission and now I only have 6 months left.

YES!!!!!! I GOT A SURPRISE PACKAGE OF THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS!!!! I forgot I hadn´t told you guys about that!!! We might have opened a few more than one a day.  I didn´t read the note because I got a little too excited but I still have the pile of gift wrap there in the house because I´m just treasuring every second.   I loved the socks.  They are so comfortable and it´s fun to have new things that I use lots.  Elder Martinez was so happy to be included.  He said, "This is what I like about having a companion from the United States at Christmas time!" We shared a good laugh and we did save like three gifts.  I just love Christmas!

We haven´t moved yet. We´re going to go take pictures of the house tonight to send pictures to the secretaries tomorrow and then they´re going to give us the thumbs up or down.

The firework pictures are of a fun little tradition that they do here in Guatemala.  It´s like a big show that they do in the city but there´s a part of our area on a big mountain where we can see everything and we got to see the fireworks from far away with one of our investigators.

We have spent a lot of time serving this month.  Whether it’s pulling water out of the well or moving dirt or helping build a house or cutting shoes or whatever it is, we have been serving and I have actually really enjoyed that.

Elder Martinez and I get along really well.  We like to work super super hard and then have like some time to relax, you know?  Transfers are coming up two days after Christmas and I don´t think we´ll be together another transfer but it´s possible. Who knows what´ll happen!?!   Elder Martinez has like four and a half months here in the area.  I’ve been in Zona 18 for this whole year--six months in Alameda, three and a half in Las Ilusiones and two and a half here in Esperanza.  We’ll see what happens.

I love you all and wish you a very Merry Christmas!  Continue to light the world and remember the reason we celebrate!!!

Love,
Elder Lott

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Short Update

We were experiencing some technical difficulties this week but we did get a short update.

It was a pretty normal week! Everyone is excited and getting ready for Christmas but all has been well!!  The best part of the week was yesterday when we went and found one of our investigators and took him to see some fireworks here in the city.  He was super excited. We're hoping he can get baptized the day before Christmas.

The other best part of the week was when we went and did service for another family of investigators. They make shoes and we helped mark and cut out like all the soles of the shoes for like three hours.

We have at least 20 investigators right now.  We are always running from here to there and taking buses and everything because our area is gigantic.  We are still in the big house that is super roomy and nice but has the water problem.  We’re working on that.

We have a multi-zone meeting on Thursday which is our Christmas Devotional where we watch a movie and talk about Christ and the holiday and everything and I'm super stoked for that!

Elder Yama called me like 4 days ago!  He's finishing the mission in a week!  Elder Vasquez always writes and we see each other like every month so that's good.  It was definitely a huge blessing having Elder Yama as my first companion and Elder Vazquez as my second because they are both so awesome....I've already told them both they can stay with us when they visit Utah.

Please send everyone my best Christmas wishes and an invitation to check out the church website or the church campaign "Light the World".  I love the new campaign!

Love,

Elder Lott

Friday, December 9, 2016

I LOVE SERVICE!

Our service project was a riot! I loved it! So our Elder´s quorum president got married last Saturday in Mexico and he´s bringing his new wife to live here in Guatemala so our service project was that we painted and cleaned and basically remodeled his WHOLE house!!!  


 



We gathered the zone together and painted, mopped, cleaned, EVERYTHING and it was CRAZY but it was so super fun!!   I got to spend lots of time with Elder Brubaker too.... it was a great day.
  

Yesssss a member went and bought us Little Caesar´s pizza for all the missionaries in the zone and it was the greatest!!

The best thing that happened to us this week.... I think the best thing is this new Christmas program that the church has given us with new service opportunities and ideas every single day until Christmas and it´s fun to teach the members and investigators these things and see the happiness and blessings that this gospel brings. Service!  It’s all about service.  I hope you are participating in lighting the world this Christmas season!


Here is a picture from the baptism a couple weeks ago.  This is the family where we baptized the husband and the little son like a couple of weeks earlier and then we finished baptizing the family just like the other week and it was super fun. The Fajardo Family--I love them!

Elder Ahumada (our third companion) has been sent to another place. We didn´t have enough water in our house to take care of 3 missionaries. We barely make it with the 2 of us.  Water has been a small problem here in this house but we´re in the process of moving.  Showering water and dish washing water and all of that is hard to come by in this location.  Drinking water we can buy whenever we really need it.  I think we´re moving to a little bit smaller house but we´ll be lots more comfortable with plenty of water so that´s what matters the most. The water comes and goes here whenever it wants so when it gets here we fill buckets and big containers with water and then that has to last us until the next time that water comes... Yikes... what an adventure!

Most challenging part of the week... probably working with the other missionaries in our zone.  We have lots of new missionaries and they sometimes struggle a little bit so we have had to go and help them and work with them a little while every once in a while and it´s good and everything just a little bit challenging to see them going through these challenges.  I do have lots of experiences to share.  There are so many experiences and learning opportunities that I can´t even keep track of them all!!

Life is good in Guatemala.  Hope you are all well!
Love,
Elder Lott
 

This is someone´s pet in Elder Brubaker´s area!!   Mom, can we have a monkey?

I'm not sure if the cute little girls are drawn to him or if he is drawn to the cute little girls but I love these pictures!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Power of Prayer Never Fails!

Happy belated Thanksgiving everyone! We didn't do anything special for Thanksgiving. We didn't get to eat anything super special or anything.... just had a lot of people ask me about it haha!  We did get a new companion and now we're in a trio. I guess that was our thanksgiving surprise!!  He’s from Chile and has been out about 5 months.  It's always a challenge to have three but we're doing the best we can.  Me and Elder Martinez are doing super good!! We get along really well!!

The baptisms were fantastic! We got to the chapel at 2 to fill up the baptismal font and there wasn't any water. It was the biggest predicament I've ever been in!  So, what did we do?? We started making phone calls to a million people and we had to do this and that and finally we turned on like the backup water reserve...but, it didn't work and we didn't have keys to get into the little bunker and turn it on from the inside.  We didn’t know what to do…so I got down on my knees right in front of the big water tank outside and prayed and BOOM, when I finished my prayer you could hear it kick right on and my companions just looked at me like that was so awesome. It was super cool!  The power of prayer never fails! It was the greatest experience ever!!!

We had a great meeting last week and we’re going to another one tomorrow for new leaders and everything with president again.  We get to be in contact with the president like always and it's kinda fun!  Last week we talked about the mission's plans for December... what service we're going to do and everything.... it's a meeting called concilo and it's where we talk about how to help the mission and things like that.  It’s super fun and I really enjoy it.

The overall message last week was how are we going to serve like Christ in December.  It’s worldwide starting December 1st.  You should all participate too!

We're going to be painting and constructing a house as a zone... 12 of us!

Each zone has the responsibility of finding their own big service projects.  Some are going to old folks’ homes, others will be serving in hospitals, some will be cleaning in the community and everything.  We're going to be serving as a mission it's super fun!!

I'm excited for our project! It's for a member that's getting married this Saturday!!
We're going to make additions to an existing house and paint and stuff like that.  We will be moving in furniture and all that jazz.  It’s all about service and I’m excited!

I gotta jet.... We have to go help some missionaries in another area....until next week.

Love, 
Elder Lott

Here is the URL for the Light the World initiative he mentions:
https://www.mormon.org/?cid=HP_FR_25-11-2016_dMIS_fmorg_xLIDyL1-A_

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Elder Brubaker is back!

The greatest thing ever happened in transfers... I get to stay here with Elder Martinez and guess who arrived as one of the new district leaders??

ELDER BRUBAKER!!!

I can´t even tell you how excited I was.  I was so happy to have him here in our zone especially as a district leader because I get to work super close with him!!  It is the absolute best!  Now I have someone to speak English with again.  I´ll be able to catch up a little bit on my practice hahaha!!

There were tons of transfers in our zone though... Almost every single area had transfers and we have like 3 new elders that are just starting their mission!

Investigators…We have tonnnnsssss and some live far away some live close some live in between and we have to plan our days super well so that we can catch everyone throughout the week.  It´s craziness and I love it!  I can´t even tell you how many new experiences the mission brings!

We are going to be having two baptisms this coming Saturday!  It´s a super special family and we´re super excited that the rest of the family is getting baptized!  I´m going to be baptizing one of them and then the son of the mom is going to baptize her... It´s super awesome! 

It´s that time of the year where I have to wear like 3 layers of clothes and wrap up like a taco in my blanket to go to sleep because it´s freezing cold in the night...Yikes!  Luckily it´s only like 2 months here though ;)  Our house gets super cold at night. I´m not sure why…must be because it´s in a little alley thing and the wind passes by all night and makes everything super cold.  I’m really hoping not to get sick! With the cold mornings,  we haven´t been quite as good at going for a run but we still do weights and pull ups in the house and it´s still good.  

We still haven’t found someone as amazing as Janet to cook for us but we do the best we can!! There are several members that help us out…it´s just every once in a while that we are stuck and have to make a good sandwich.  We usually have something small to eat for breakfast and then a big lunch and then something small for dinner again.  Sometimes we have a feast and everything but it just depends.

I don’t have anything super great to share this week.  I love working with all of the missionaries.  Next week, I’ll have lots to share.  We have a big meeting with all the zone leaders and the assistants and President Crapo tomorrow.  On Wednesday we´re going to have our baptismal interviews and on Saturday we’re having baptisms!   It will be a great week!

You guys have a great week too! 
Love,
Elder Lott

Elder Brubaker is back!

The greatest thing ever happened in transfers... I get to stay here with Elder Martinez and guess who arrived as one of the new district leaders??

ELDER BRUBAKER!!!

I can´t even tell you how excited I was.  I was so happy to have him here in our zone especially as a district leader because I get to work super close with him!!  It is the absolute best!  Now I have someone to speak English with again.  I´ll be able to catch up a little bit on my practice hahaha!!

There were tons of transfers in our zone though... Almost every single area had transfers and we have like 3 new elders that are just starting their mission!

Investigators…We have tonnnnsssss and some live far away some live close some live in between and we have to plan our days super well so that we can catch everyone throughout the week.  It´s craziness and I love it!  I can´t even tell you how many new experiences the mission brings!

We are going to be having two baptisms this coming Saturday!  It´s a super special family and we´re super excited that the rest of the family is getting baptized!  I´m going to be baptizing one of them and then the son of the mom is going to baptize her... It´s super awesome! 

It´s that time of the year where I have to wear like 3 layers of clothes to go to sleep in because It´s freezing cold in the night!  I wear like three layers and wrap up like a taco in the night in my blanket.... Yikes!  Luckily it´s only like 2 months here though ;)  Our house gets super cold at night. I´m not sure why…must be because it´s in a little alley thing and the wind passes by all night and makes everything super cold.  I’m really hoping not to get sick!

With the cold mornings,  we haven´t been quite as good at going for a run but we still do weights and pull ups in the house and it´s still good.  

We still haven’t found someone as amazing as Janet to cook for us but we do the best we can!! There are several members that help us out…it´s just every once in a while that we are stuck and have to make a good sandwich.  We usually have something small to eat for breakfast and then a big lunch and then something small for dinner again.  Sometimes we have a feast and everything but it just depends.

I don’t have anything super great to share this week.  I love working with all of the missionaries.  Next week, I’ll have lots to share.  We have a big meeting with all the zone leaders and the assistants and President Crapo tomorrow.  On Wednesday we´re going to have our baptismal interviews and on Saturday we’re having baptisms!   It will be a great week!

You guys have a great week too!  HAPPY THANKSGIVING             !

Love,
Elder Lott

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

My Birthday Package Arrived!

How is everyone?  Guess what?  My birthday package arrived!!!  Can I just tell you that I was so incredibly excited when I got the package that I almost cried actually and then when I opened it I definitely cried.  Now I can see all of those great pictures whenever I want! And, my jeans still fit…a tiny bit different but it might just be because I´m not used to wearing jeans anymore.... Yikes!  They still zip up and there´s actually room around the waist still. I opened all my presents in like 5 minutes because I was so excited…except for the little gift for after Thanksgiving... I haven´t opened that yet.  The chocolate was not melted.  Everything was in good condition and the package had not been opened.  I'm a happy missionary!

 

This has definitely been a good week!  Our Zone earned the title of “Zona Celestiales” and enjoyed a celebration with President Crapo.  It´s where each of our areas in our zone baptized and we completed as a zone the goal of 12 baptisms in the month of October which is like 2 baptisms per companionship. It was super awesome and then the president invited us over for breakfast and it was a party. We´re hoping to do the same thing this month!



The celebration was at the President´s house outside in the garden.  He lives on like the 5th floor of a nice hotel and outside there´s a super nice garden and that´s where we ate.  It was definitely different than what we are used to.  We had to travel like an hour to get there!  It was awesome!!!

 

This is Elder Gaibor. He’s from El Salvador. I´ve been with him in another zone and he´s finishing his mission so we took a fun picture together.  We had lots of good experiences together in divisions and stuff.

We had the funnest experience yesterday actually!! We went to dedicate a house that a new family had moved into and some members asked us to go over and this new family invited like all of their family that lived there close and we had like a huge gathering and we taught about the atonement and then we dedicated the house and there were tons of people there that believe in Christ but don´t really do anything more than believe. But last night everyone was listening so intently and the spirit was so strong. I honestly love talking about the atonement and how it blesses us in our lives.

Everytime I share my testimony it gets stronger.  Just imagine sharing your testimony every single day!  When you work your biceps every day, you just get super strong right?  It’s the same with the testimony.  It´s even better when the investigators realize that these things are true and have the desire to change and grow closer to Christ.

We are going to have 2 baptisms not this Saturday but the next…a sister named Sandra and her niece Marleni.  YAY!!!! I’m so excited!!! Baptisms coming up... miracles.... tons of experiences... Everything is so wonderful honestly I love the mission and this gospel!

Sometimes we don´t know what do to or where to go and all of a sudden someone calls us and they´re like hey come help us with this or hey we have a couple here that we want you guys to teach or things like that or when people make super big choices like not smoking or drinking anymore because of an answer to prayers and everything it´s just so fun to see the Lord´s hand in all of this!!

Everyone here, regardless of age, loves to play soccer. It doesn´t matter where or how or if they don´t have a ball they use a water bottle or something but EVERYONE plays soccer and we always play with the kids in the streets and it´s so fun. Something else that I see a ton is marbles. They´re always flicking marbles but I´m not very good at that.  It´s pretty crazy the little games that these kids come up with it.... Just whatever is there handy they use to play with.  I love it!

Have a great week!
Sending lots of hugs and all my love,
Elder Lott

Mom’s question:  Do you see sunsets very often in Guatemala?
Elder Lott’s answer:  sunsets... uhhhh.... Nah not really. Well to be honest, I´ve never really paid attention.