Thursday, April 27, 2017

40 Day Fast

How is everyone?  I'm doing great! My week has been good! Nothing too crazy, a pretty normal week with lots of work! We have been focusing more on recent converts and less actives right now and in strengthening their testimonies so they can be firm in the gospel.  By doing so we usually find family members or friends there in their houses that are interested in the gospel which is super fun.

It’s like home teaching but home teaching here isn`t a big thing. They`re trying to get the members to do it and encourage them and everything but it`s kind of hard to get the members to go out and do visits.  Let’s just say I have a new appreciation for home teaching!  You really don`t even have to do very much. More than anything it`s just the sacrifice in time.

Our mission is doing a 40 day fast.  We have done these before and it`s a pretty cool experience. You should try it!  What we do is we have a fast for certain things we would like to change or improve on and then we focus on those things for the next 40 days to try to improve or get rid of bad habits or anything like that!  For example, if a missionary struggles with bad words, he`ll focus on that for 40 days! I’m fasting to improve my ability to respond to promptings the first time and not wait for the second prompting.

My companion and I are doing great! I`m really hoping and praying I get to stay with him my last transfer.  Next Sunday we`ll have the transfer assignments.  We are six days away from finding out about transfers.  Then April is over and we start May.  This will be my last transfer. I can`t even believe it!

I bought a quadruple in Spanish. It is so cool!  I only read in Spanish now.  I just read in English when I read letters. I don’t have to study Spanish anymore. It just comes naturally. I feel like I’ve worked hard though to get my Spanish to where it`s at and I’m proud of what I`ve been able to learn. I will probably have a little bit of an accent honestly but we`ll see.  I think you’ll all still be able to understand me.  I’ll definitely be able to help Riley with his Spanish class hahaha!  I’m pretty sure I can still speak English.  There may be a few Spanish words mixed in there.

My heart doesn`t know where it`s at. It`s so excited to see you guys and finally be reunited but it also doesn`t want to leave behind everything that it has come to absolutely love here.  I think I’ll just have to come back to Guatemala soon!

But hey, I gotta jet.  I love you guys more than you can imagine. We have plans today to go to Walmart and Metronorte to eat lunch. It should be pretty fun I guess! I think we`ll meet up with a couple of missionaries over there like Elder Goodwin and stuff so that`s cool!

Until next week…LOVE,
Elder Lott

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

I always look so out of place...

Hey, everyone!  I`m doing super good!  All is well.  I`ve made it to another pday and we had a baptism on Saturday and wow everything is good!

The baptism was originally planned for this coming Saturday but we decided that she was ready and we moved the baptism and had it this last week. It was kind of crazy but it was super good.   The other people in this picture are her Mom, Sister and cousin! I always look so out of place :)

Easter was pretty... Interesting... It`s a whole different holiday out here in because the Catholics celebrate super differently. They have like these huge parade floats that they carry around honoring Jesus but it`s with like big like "red carpet" kind of things that the people lay out on the streets. They call it processions in Spanish.  EVERYONE in the whole country has the weekend off... just the most important jobs have to work.  There was this huge gathering in front of the Catholic Church where they all sang and everything.  Easter Dinner... We ate some noodles in Spaghetti sauce with some hard-boiled eggs and tamales.

I`m liking the new area! It`s like pretty flat which is nice and there are tons of people that give us food and everything as well as tons of potential for new investigators.  This is a humble area which allows them to be open to receiving our message.  We are still getting a few references from members so that helps.  It`s decently big and a nice area actually.  I like it anyway!

My companion and I get along super well.  I am honestly hoping to finish the mission with this guy. He is from El Salvador and he`s 24 years old. He almost graduated from the university but decided to go on a mission before finishing.  He is the youngest of 3 brothers.

You saw me on Facebook?  That’s funny!  Yes!  We had a multi zone conference on Thursday and it was AWESOME!  I learned about following promptings of the spirit and usually he`ll whisper something to us and we`ll think about it and then more and more thoughts come but they`re usually from Satan trying to convince us not to do it. For example as missionaries when the spirit tells us hey knock that door and we think about it but then have thoughts of like nah we don`t have time or nah we`ve already knocked that door or no these people don`t want anything and those thoughts come from Satan and we have to listen and act on the first prompting.

I write from the internet café but we are going to leave right now to help with a service project.  We are helping a family move some stuff, then after that we`re going to go back and clean the house and then maybe after we`ll go play ping pong with some members in the church! I love ping pong.  I’m a little advanced for them there but we have some fun hahaha.  The back spin gets them every time :)

Love you all!
Elder Lott

Here I am pretending to cook… with cereal… in my Easter apron.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Shipped off to Canalitos

Well the news of the week is that our little trio got split up and I got shipped off to Canalitos, Zona 24, with Elder Doñas.  It`s like right here next to Lomas but it`s like way up the mountain.  Elder Doñas is the trio companion from El Salvador.  He has 6 months out here in the mission. We are dedicated to his area now and Elder Goodwin stayed back in Lomas and got a new companion from Chile. Elder Goodwin is a great kid!  He had me laughing all the time. We`re in the same district though so we get to see each other pretty frequently and we always talk about how we wanted to finish the transfer together.

It was super crazy and it all happened so fast but here we are getting some work done here in Canalitos.  It’s nice to be dedicated to one area because we`re not running everywhere anymore.  And we have a good time together so honestly I`m super happy.

This apartment is actually super nice.  They had someone come in and do a deep clean like a couple days ago so it`s spotless and now we just have to keep it that way.  This one has like 4 couches in it! 

My companion and I get along really well so far so that`s super good. We`re teaching a couple of families and then a couple of other youth and always looking for more people of course. We left our golden family in Lomas with Elder Goodwin.  They had an appointment with them this last Saturday and they extended a baptismal date and the family accepted!! It`s just a matter of time for them!!

Spiritual experience of the week... probably transfers honestly because in the beginning I was super upset and didn`t wanna go. I wanted to finish the transfer with Elder Goodwin and I tried to convince President to let me stay but then he talked to me for a second and told me that he had received a strong spiritual impression that I needed to be with Elder Doñas to help him and be a good companion to him. He asked me to at least give it a try and now that I`m here with him I feel like President was right on.

This could very possibly be my last area... But then again I thought the same thing about Lomas so I have no idea.  My new area has lots of dirt and back roads. There is only one street that goes through this place and the rest are like dirt back roads.  It’s kind of green and kind of desert like.  I don’t know how to explain it in English.  We are in a smaller ward... like 85 people come on average!

Cooking... Usually the members are pretty good here to help us out actually. Yesterday we had lunch and dinner with members and usually we have like at least lunch or dinner every day here so that`s super nice.  As for laundry there`s someone here that helps us with that too.

I didn’t find the cream of tartar at Walmart.  We ended up kind of giving up...and that`s a good thing because we wouldn`t be able to cook it anymore anyway.

Well from what I`ve seen, this area is pretty safe! I`ve heard that in the night time we have to be a little careful but that`s how it is everywhere here in Guatemala hahaha!

We`re going to go clean the house a little bit then sleep and maybe go play some games with family a little later. Speaking of which... we should probably get outta here.

Until next Monday!!! I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!
Elder Lott

Friday, April 7, 2017

Two Companions, Two Areas and Two Houses...

Hey! How is everyone?  I`m doing pretty good! Just getting used to the new companion that we have with us but doing good. We are in a trio right now. Our new companion is from El Salvador.  He was in the neighboring area but his companion got sent to another area so he joined us and it has been insane.  We are working in both areas right now so we`re always traveling so much and running here and there.  It’s so exhausting and sometimes we have to sleep in his house because we don`t have time to make it back to ours and it`s just so hard. There is so much work!

The trio is temporary but I think we will stay together until transfers on May 2nd... We`ll see.  We have investigators in both areas so we go back and forth like every single day. We`re exhausted.  It’s too far to walk so we take a bus. It`s like a 30 minute bus ride and then we walk all day in his area or in ours.  It`s the craziest experience! I haven`t done anything like it in my whole mission.

We do have 3 beds in both apartments..... now.   I sleep so good at night!  Sometime we tease our new companion and speak in English and pretend we`re talking about him and he`s all like shut up you two hahaha!

We watched General Conference in the stake center with the other missionaries but all of the members from our ward watched it in their houses.  That was different for me. We didn`t bring any new investigators with us because we are starting from zero and now working in 2 areas we don`t even have time to look for new ones!!  Our converts got to watch the conference in their houses too.  I love General Conference.  I did like the talk specifically saying to listen to the missionaries!  Elder Bednar had an awesome talk about missionaries too!

Elder Goodwin and I both got the picture of our Moms meeting for lunch.  We were laughing and enjoying the moment together here haha!

My haircut turned out ugly again…maybe not as ugly but ugly.

We are cooking but we`re not hand washing anymore. We found somebody to help us haha! I just eat sandwiches every single day.  Sometimes we go and eat like tacos or like pizza or other super fun things so I`m good.

White corn syrup is not to be found in Guatemala.  We haven’t tried the make your own recipe yet because we don`t know what cream of tartar is.  We are going to Walmart today so I’ll check there.  We got permission to go because I’m out of razors.  We can stock up on snacks and goods while we’re there.

I`m feeling... pretty good!  Super tired and with a little bit of pressure but super good!  We are just on a crazy fun adventure doing the Lord`s work and working like crazy! We found a new family yesterday that we`re going to baptize. They`re references from another family and it`s going to be awesome. They agreed to come to church with us right off the bat so that`s a good sign. They haven’t said anything, I just feel it! We had a great lesson with them and when we walked out of the lesson we all said the same thing. Wow! That family is going to get baptized!

Hey I think we`re getting ready to head though. This whole jumping between houses is pretty crazy and now 2 houses to clean as well. No good :)

Love you all!
Elder Lott

I had the wonderful opportunity of meeting Elder Goodwin's mom for lunch.  We could have chatted for hours about our missionaries!  They are great boys doing a great work.  We are on opposite ends of the spectrum.  She is still adjusting to her missionary being gone and I'm counting the weeks until mine returns.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Special Guest

We had three baptisms this week and it was so awesome AND there was a member of one of the quorums of the seventy there too AND I got a picture with him! It was a crazy weekend in the best way. 

The tall guy that you see in the picture is Angel.  He came to live with his family here in Lomas del Norte and he was so interested in the gospel and we just started teaching him and he like came prepared because we taught him for like 2 weeks and he was ready to be baptized. It was so awesome.  The other taller guy is Pablo and he´s Angel´s cousin.  He´s the one that baptized Angel so that´s why he´s dressed all in white.  Can you guess which one I baptized?  Yep!  The little guy tucked under my arm.  His name is Gabriel.  I love taking part in miracles! The mission is so awesome!  It has been so fun to be a part of so many cool experiences.

I´m going to get a haircut today… I was so devastated by that last haircut, I haven´t cut my hair since January 2nd. I´m super hesitant today but oh well hahaha!

We haven’t been able to make chex mix because we can´t find white corn syrup. We have everything else. We´ve looked everywhere but there is no white corn syrup in Guatemala.   A member is going to look at a place called Pricesmart which is basically Costco to see if they can find it there.  I’m not giving up.  No worries though…

The weather right now is super hot in the afternoon and pretty chilly in the night. It´s nice. I like it.

Gotta go, gotta run... We´re going to make our grocery run and go get a haircut and then we´re going to go hangout with a missionary that´s leaving on Wednesday for his mission and then later we´re going to go play games with Jose Rodrigo and his family!

Love to you all—
Elder Lott