Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Waiting for the Rainbows

January 27, 2014 
We woke up early to go to Xela for a leadership meeting. My favorite part of the meeting was what President Bautista said. "When a revelation or an impression comes do it even if you don´t have much confidence in it" 
One of our investigators showed great faith as she told her mother she was getting baptized, and told us: “From one day to the next my family has said so many comments that would discourage anyone else, but I do it to please God and I want the best for me and to raise my son in good principles and what better than those of our Heavenly Father.” It was neat to hear her conviction.
We did divisions with the other Elders in our area to accommodate the two interviews. I went to Calvario to do an interview and my comp stayed. I had a correlation meeting with Pte. Bautista and the Stake Pres. Gutierrez. We put together the noche de hermanamiento because the leaders got called to a meeting. It went well I directed and played the piano.
Friday we did divisions again with the Elders in our area to help the Hnas in Cerrito and to do an interview in our area. I went to Cerrito.
We had decided from the beginning of the week that we would fast as a Zone from Friday to Saturday. Well we didn´t realize we had two food activities planned making cookies and ballades. Well needless to say we talked about just fasting from Saturday to Sunday, but I told Garcia that the Lord wants a sacrifice and this would be a big one. We fasted and it was tough but well worth it.
I am so proud of our investigator and her decision to be baptized. She faced lots of opposition coming into it but she withstood it all faithfully.
Sunday I was in meetings all day. Sacrament went well with the ward conference. Then at 4pm I met with the Dad of this Stake (the high council member over mission work) At 6 pm our ward mission leader got us together to write a rough draft of a ward mission plan.
I truly appreciate all your love and support and prayers.
Elder Wright

Elder Wright with President Bautista

noche de hermanamiento

Beautiful Sunset

A Visit From an Apostle

January 20, 2014
One of the greatest blessings today was the opportunity to answer the humble prayer of a discouraged downtrodden daughter of God. Monday night in planning we had an appointment at 7 but decided to call a returned missionary to contact the girl’s aunt. Turns out when we got there the aunt had just finished praying asking for strength and help. She is the mother of a 9 year old special needs child that cannot walk nor talk. Her other sons are wandering forbidden paths. I testified that we were the answer to her prayer and that we would help if she would listen and be obedient to the invitations we would give her. It was so special to be used by the Lord to answer someone else’s prayer.
Wednesday we taught our investigators the importance of getting married.
We did divisions with Elder Peterson and De Leon. I stayed with Peterson from Idaho in my area. We had some good success.
On Saturday the 18th in order to the Mission conference in Xela, we got an early start by getting up at 4 to be in the terminal at 530 and leave by 6 am. I had the idea to rent a bus with all the 60 missionaries from Huehue. We watched the Testaments on the way down. It was super foggy but we made it safely. We were all sitting down at 905 waiting for Elder Cook to come. When Elder Cook and his wife and Elder Kevin R. Duncan and his wife entered we all stood up and it was super powerful. You could feel the spirit that entered with him.
Elder Cook bore his testimony that was super powerful. He said “I know the Savior, I know His voice” " He testified of Christ’s love and the reality of his atonement. That really hit me strong as a witness he is a true apostle. We got to all shake his hand just really quick, no time but for nice to meet you. But it was awesome none the less. The truth is with as big as the church is the chance to meet an apostle is something special that I will cherish forever.
I am grateful to have been here, and to listen to him. I will never forget it.
Elder Wright
The Fog

Bus Ride to Mission Conference with Elder Cook

Waiting for Mission Conference to Start

Monday, January 13, 2014

A Hot Busy Week

January 13, 2014
Well I can´t say I miss the cold and snow and rain that much. But I am going through sunscreen pretty fast. It is hot day after day and I don´t see many clouds. There were some that clumped together but it doesn´t rain. At least not for a few more months.
Monday night we helped some members move houses. They are a young couple in their 20s that were baptized two years ago. They are a great couple.
When we went to each a new investigator my comp wanted members present. We called a few people and they could not come. We called the couple we helped move, they came. They are great members. We didn´t have to ask them to talk or lead them into the lesson, they were paying attention and jumped in and testified shared their personal story, and made a big difference in the success of the lesson. Our investigator accepted to be baptized on the 25th of this month.
Later in the week we visited with a couple that have had the missionaries since I was here last year. Turns out last year their daughter had come to a baptism with her cousins that I was part of. We feel they will be able to progress.
We had about 50 people show up to the Noche de Hermanamiento. It was really neat to see everyone there. One of the ladies that had to give the thought was overwhelmed, but she did a great job with the big crowd.
In the morning we had to go to Quilinco to clean the house that was closed. The only problem is that Qulinco is about 45 minutes away and I had never been there before. I had to get in the pickup with the guy from Xela and take him and my comp to the house I had never been to. It is in a little village on the side of the mountain. Well I remembered from the week before when we picked up the Elders from the turn off, as we passed going up to the Laguna. So I got us that far. And I remember that one of the Elders had said that his house was by the cemetery. So I got that far. I was able to talk with one of the Elders and the owner had a yellow house. Believe it or not we got there. The Lord sure helped us out.
We had three lessons with a member present it was awesome.
Friday we got to go to Quilinco again to work and visit some investigators that have a baptismal date. I went with Elder Etcheto. He is from Twin falls ID. He has 2 and half months including the CCM. We went, and my comp and his comp stayed to attend to our visits. Seeing as I didn´t know much more of Quilinco than to the Elders house we had a personal guide- an 11 year old boy took us were we needed to go. It was so awesome to work there and have all the kids yell Elders!!!! I miss being in the aldeas. It was nice being with Elder Etcheto because it brought me back to the basics. The best part of the day was trying to get back home. The last bus was at 730. We got it but it came later about 745. This meant that we got to Chiantla about 820 and the last bus to Huehue was at 8. So we had to pray a lot. We waited on the corner of the church that is the exit of Chiantla to Huehue. We were blessed with a miracle bus just going to park, but it got us a little closer so we took it. We got off only after about 1 minute. Another blessing from God, members in a black car waited for us to get off the bus. They took us down. They were going to leave Chiantla earlier but felt like staying longer and came at the perfect time to help us out. Turns out I met them at a visit before Christmas. It is so amazing to see the Lord´s hand in our lives.
We started a lesson with a lady I had known before when I was in this area. Back then I helped her draw water out of a well. We will try to start teaching her more.
I wanted to thank you all for your love support and prayers my whole mission. I truly feel the strength. Thank you for all that you have done for me and your letters and emails. I know this is true and the only church that will get us to eternal life.
Elder Wright
Quilinco with Huehue in the background
The Movers

Welcoming 2014 With a New Face

January 6, 2014
Querida familia,
We had a multi zone conference with the President Bautista. He talked about making the small changes of the sins that easily beset us to be able to have the spirit more. It was really neat and well needed. That night I went to the Viña and baptized a young lady and had a good experience.
My last day with Elder Jerez and it was our P-day, we took a 2 hour bumpy dusty van ride up to the Laguna Magdalena. It was super beautiful. Then we came home, wrote emails home, packed, and said goodbye to some members. It was nuts. We got up early the next day and headed to Xela.
My new companion is Elder Garcia from San Pedro Sula Honduras. He is from my group and lived across the hall from me in the CCM. It will be fun.
The tradition here for the New Year is eat chicken salad sandwiches and light off fireworks at midnight. I was super tired from the bus ride on Monday and again to Xela and back Tuesday so I went to bed, woke up at 1155 and watched the fireworks then back to bed at 1215. It felt more like sleepwalking than anything.
1 JANUARY 2014 HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! Starting off the new year we had a positive lesson with an investigator. We watched the Restoration to sure up her testimony. She told us that before she never let any missionaries in, but always believed in God. When she imagined what God was like she imagined something similar to the art painting of Joseph Smith´s vision so that was special. She told us it was in her heart and she was ready to be baptized.
Mid week we made an early trip to Xela for a Leaders meeting. Back to HueHue sharing a very positive lesson with another investigator testifying of the plan of salvation and how she must be baptized to follow it.
Saturday the highlight was the baptism of B. She is very prepared. That makes me really happy. She was very happy on her baptism day and she had lots of support from the members so that was nice. Thanks for your prayers and help.

Sunday night we taught the cousins of one of the familias. One really wants to go to church but the mom won´t let her, the other is learning more about the church asking questions. She asked about conversion. I told her for me it was more what made me stay a member of the church. The answer was that I felt it was right by the spirit. Every time I pray about the Book of Mormon, or enter the temple, or participate in an ordinance I can feel the spirit testify. This is the true church and we must do everything we can to stay inside of it and help others come. So we can say Bring on the Storm and have no fear.
Elder Wright
Laguna Magdalena
Baptism of A on December 28, 2013 
Baptism of B on January 4, 2014
Elder Garcia when we were in the CCM and now as companions

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Crazy Christmas Adventure

December 30, 2013 
From last week when I wrote about getting ready on Monday for the Christmas Eve in the park we never stopped running the whole day and Tuesday was also crazy. We went at 730 to buy the fruit to make the drink. Then we had to hurry and pick up a guitar, go to the district meeting, practice the songs, set up for the lunch, eat the lunch pick up speakers, clean up the church, carry two speakers and a table to Centro park. Luckily a saint helped us out and gave us a ride. At 535 went to ask the light people if they were going to come, they didn´t know anything about it, but finally showed up. We did the sound test for the microphones only three of the six microphones worked. In the end we just had to go with it. We started miraculously right on time. The Ponche drink showed up right on time. (It is chunks of pineapple papaya, coconut, and cinnamon with a little bit of Rosa de Jamaica. mixed in) We sang songs and some members gave away Ponche. Santa Claus was there, Elder Albert took pictures with Santa and the kids. We had the idea that we would get the directions to their home and take them the pictures. Great in theory but it didn't go as smooth. The numbers didn´t get written down and we are not sure how we will get it figured out. I played the song the Little Drummer Boy. It went over really well. After all the stress, it is something that won´t be forgotten. We gave away 325 cups of the drink, which means there was a bunch of people that attended. Maybe more that came and went. 
After the program we sprinted to do Secret Santa for a family. Then ate a tamale at Lenchos and got a ride home. We watched the fireworks at 12 midnight from our roof. We had the Quilinco Elders staying with us. Elder Rivera from Nicaragua and Elder Dalton from Bountiful.
Wednesday the fun didn´t stop!!! The best part was Skyping and seeing all of you guys. Thanks for all of your love and support. It was so neat to talk to Justin in Spanish.
Traditions in Guatemala for Christmas. Include the Ponche (sometimes called caliente) drink with tamales. Rice dough mixed with a sauce and a piece of meat wrapped in a big platano leaf. served with rolls. The market fills with people the 23-24th selling grapes and apples along with the ingredients for Ponche. People spread pine needles all over the ground in the living room or entry way so it smells nice.

Thursday Things slowed down a little bit. We went to visit a recent convert and her non member mom. She had company from the Capital. They are singers and put on their own concert. They sing really well.
My comp has changes tomorrow. I will be receiving a new one for the New Year. Who knows who. I will let you know next week. Talk to you next year.
Elder Wright

With Elder Jerez

Thursday, January 2, 2014


December 23, 2013
As usual another crazy week. I went from the smallest zone to one of the biggest, but I love every minute of it. It has been super hot here.
I have to do a bunch of things to get ready for the activity tomorrow for Christmas Eve. So I will give the lightning report.

We are teaching two new people. Both she and her daughter were crying. I had an awesome lesson planned using the vision of the tree of life. What they needed at that moment was the promise of peace and blessing of comfort, and we needed to teach to their needs.
We finished the night going to Hna F. If you remember she really liked us when I was with Elder Chicas. She saw me and said ELDER WRIGHT!!! She was really excited to see me again.
This week we had a good lesson with a familia, we're able to take an investigator to sing in the choir, and had the ward party. It was fun filled with dinner piñatas and gifts for the kids. We have had a positive lessons with our new investigator.

In order to get everything ready for Christmas Eve in the park, we had to go ask for permission at the Mayor's office. They are the ones that would tell us if we have permission to sing in the park on Tuesday or not. When we first went in today, Monday the 23rd they told us at 9 that we could not because the mayor was gone and not coming back. We left a little bummed but decided to go back and see if it was possible to do it in another area. We explained better that it wasn't necessarily an event so much as a group of the people that were already there. The workers talked again and said we will let you know at 3:00 pm when the mayor gets back. We ignored the fact that the mayor was supposedly not coming back. Then we began praying. We had a choir practice and said a prayer with all of the missionaries there, that we would be able to have the activity. We went back in the afternoon and we GOT the permission. Then we had to go to 3 more offices to get papers signed and what not. You've got to love bureaucracy! But now we are just hoping and praying that the sound system can be used as well. It is crazy with all this, the planning, and coordinating all the phone calls. But what an opportunity we will have to sing, pass out the traditional Christmas fruit drink, hand out the Book of Mormon, and we are offering to take pictures of children with Santa.
Elder Wright
HueHue Centro
 Christmas Eve Choir

Guess What???

December 16, 2013
Take a guess as to where I am hints: My new area is hot with lots of sun, I have to put sunscreen on. It didn´t take hardly any time to adjust to the new house, the bus ride was long and windy.
I am Companions with Elder Jerez from San Lucas Guatemala, near the capital. He likes to do what he calls going the extra mile. It includes baking cookies and other deserts. He is a great teacher, he has a year in the mission, he gets along extremely well with everybody.
Monday was my last day in Toto. It was sad, as I said goodbye to all my friends and the members and investigators. One of the families I said goodbye to gave me a side bag awhile ago, and this time gave me two small pilas, then their daughter gave me an owl. It was hard to leave Toto, but all the memories and experiences that changed me will stay forever.
The Lord is so kind and merciful. I arrived at changes and Elder Browning asked me do you know where you are going? Turns out I am going to replace him. I did that in Olinte, then was his comp in Toto.
We immediately got to work, we visited the grandma of our neighbor, who really likes my comp. We visited a less active family and their son just went to SOY (EFY) and took a picture with a member who lives in Toto. It was a funny connection.
For our zone meeting we went the extra mile. We went early to bake the brownies. We decorated with my small glitter tree and lights and shared a Christmas video. I gave the message. I had three main points. 1) Christmas was made up with all the characters of the nativity. If the shepherds would not have come the story would be different, if the angel wouldn't have shown up the story would have been changed. likewise in the zone we need to work in unity. 2) From the trials and tribulations and opposition of the stable was born the hope of the world. Even if we are in our own stables we can hope for better things. 3) The wise man followed the star. We must follow the star revelation to get to our destination and reach our full potential. Wise men still seek Him!
Because I quickly adapted to the new area I was able to go with some familiar faces and old investigators. We visited a Hna (65 years old) Elder Jerez is a great teacher with good questions that require thought and analysis. We asked if she had prayed and with the answer that she got what she was willing to do. She agreed to come to church.
It was comical to see the reactions of all the members at church. Many looked at me and said it seems like I know you from somewhere. Our investigator came to church and seemed to enjoy it. Later that night we taught and helped her understand the BOM. She committed to read it and we put a fech for the 4th of January. She is really positive, she is praying and understands the need to do so. She like the peace and welcoming at church.
If you haven´t guessed my new area by now I am in Brasilia Huehuetenango!!!! I am in the same house, but I did switch beds and desks. One of the interesting things about coming back is how similar it is to the first time I was here. I am so grateful that the Lord has given me an opportunity to serve.
Elder Wright

Thus End the Days of el Totonicapanse‏

December 9, 2013
Perhaps for the first time in my mission I don´t have a clue where I am headed. I tried to trick it out of them but it didn't work. Who knows, but it will be where the Lord needs me.
I am sad to leave Toto because I have lots of friendships and good memories.
A while back when I was with Browning he was already asleep and I was almost to that point. I heard the doorbell of the floor below ring and ring and ring. It was the lady from downstairs who had forgotten her key and her family had fallen asleep. SO I woke up Browning and we went down and opened the door for her. That happened again on another occasion. Well, on Monday when we were without keys she let us climb up the atrium saying, "Don´t worry you guys helped me out when I didn´t have a key." My thought- we should always look to serve others and help them in need for we never know when we will need the same.
We went to San Cristobal for a multi zone conference. The President talked about the trials of life. Basically Christ faced trials just like us. I liked this thought that the most important gift, the atonement, came after a huge trial.
As we are trying to get the members to help more with missionary work we had a meeting with President Bautista and Stake President Tzic. It was neat.
We met a man who knew a lot about the Bible, and we talked with him about it. When I tried to give him the Book of Mormon, he kindly refused. This was sad.
We taught a couple the plan of salvation with a new visual aid art book the President made for the mission, we also had the Bishop with us.
We finished introducing the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine of Christ to a man and his family. We challenged them to baptism on the 28th and they said it was a little quick but something they want to do.
Well last week it was freezing cold with a bitter wind. This week I left the house in just a short sleeve shirt and was fine until the sun went down. It has been crazy weather.
I just never know what I will be asked to do at church this week I played the piano for the choir for Ward Conference and for sacrament meeting. The overall theme I took was taking peace to all the people.

I love you all and wish you the best in this Christmas season. Make a snowball or two for me. I don´t see that here. 
Elder Wright
Beginning of the Christmas Season

Rainbow over Toto

Starting Down the Home Stretch

December 2, 2013
When I ran the 400m in high school I usually started out strong. Maintained speed on the back stretch and started picking up with 200m left then at the start of the home stretch I opened up and left everything I had on the track. Literally everything because I usually found the nearest trash can right after and left it a surprise. I can´t believe it- 18 Months. But anyway the point is I am committed to work hard wherever the Lord would have me be. With just the home stretch left I plan on leaving it all here with no regrets and finish living the dream strong.
We had a very interesting experience in the street. A person that had been drinking came up to us and asked for a cookie. I told the man I don't have food but I do have the bread of life that will last forever. He said that won´t fill me up. We said our goodbyes. Later we felt like we should look for him. Elder Hendrickson suggested to check the park. We did and found him. We gave him a cookie and visited with him and another gentleman that was with him who had also been drinking. We found out this gentleman was an inactive member.
There is a family here that made Thanksgiving especially nice for us. They fixed chicken, mashed potatoes, and a salad with peas in it. It was super delicious and very thoughtful.
We went to the baptism the other Elders had. After we left we had to go get another sweater because it was colder than "the backside of a certain worker digging a well." But seriously it was about 40 with some freezing wind and mist that took it to about 25-30 with the wind chill.
I know that the Lord answers prayers. It was 7:30 and our plans were falling through, so I said a prayer and we started walking, I felt the slightest thought to go see a contact from 3 weeks ago. We got in and her two sisters and brother in law, along with their two kids were there it was awesome. We taught a lesson it was special.
On Sunday a lady we contacted that used to be an investigator of the other elders came to church just like she promised when she found us on Wednesday. That was awesome. I ended up teaching the Gospel Principle's class because the teacher was sick. Our investigator said she really liked it and learned a lot. She likes the way we talk and teach. I also taught priesthood. It was on loving God more than the World. The class participated a lot more than normal, which made it a really good lesson.
Elder Wright
Bishop Basquiyak

On Divisions with Elder Yataco from Peru

Feliz Dia de la Accion de Gracias‏

November 25, 2013 
Querida Familia,
In Guatemala Thanksgiving is called the Dia de la Accion de Gracias. I don't think it is as big a deal as in the States. They are more focused on saving money to have a big party for Christmas and New Years.

I am grateful I was born into a home where we were taught to trust in God.
In district meeting we put a goal to find 100 new people to talk to. Elder Pettingill talked about how important this is, it was pretty solid.
We had a lesson with an investigator and Bishop Baquiyax was present. We answered some questions and showed him that he could be like Enos. Our investigator is still considering his fecha for the 30th. The Bishop told him we should not wait for tomorrow with what we should do today. We tried an experiment where you light a match in a glass bottle and put a peeled boiled egg on top and it sucks it in. We explained that when we are outside of church we are vulnerable, but inside we are protected. 
We knelt to pray and she started praying in silence and we joined in silent prayer. The feeling in my heart was undeniable. It began small filling it up with a warm sensation. My answer was definite and indisputable. It wasn't some great earthquake or lights in the sky, but a simple powerful feeling in my heart telling me YES!! This is the true church. We finished the prayer and she said she felt tranquil.... We will see what happens.
President Tzic the Stake President spoke at Stake Conference about the three parables from Luke 15. The lost sheep, lost money, and prodigal son. The sheep wandered, the money was lost due to bad care, and the son left conscious of his decision. Likewise we must look for those less actives that have left for any of those three reasons. It was a good talk and we had two investigators there!! Sunday the 24 we had a Regional broadcast conference. There were 41 stakes and 6 missions in Guatemala that participated. Enrique R. Falabella talked about waking up and brushing off the dust. I liked it because he said when we are sleeping we dream and when we wake up we make our dreams realities. He reminded us we need to use our time wisely. Rosemary M . Wixon shared stories of good parents in the Book of Mormon. Richard G. Scott gave what seemed to be the same talk he gave to you guys, just in Spanish on treating the women in our lives with respect and honor.
Henry B. Eyring talked about how the small branches in New Jersey, New Mexico, and other places have grown a ton and the same can happen here in Guatemala.

We worked hard this week to reach our goal. The week was almost over and we needed to talk to 4 more people in order to reach the goal of talking to 100 new people. While walking I saw a lady crying in a dark corner of a door, her son was close by. I stopped, turned back, and followed the spirit. Do you need help? She said yes and told a story about how her husband that he was drinking, someone had died recently, and why she was sad. I shared from the Book of Mormon Alma 7:11-12. It was sweet. Then we found the other 3 contacts a little later. The Lord helped us even though it took the whole week. It is nice to know that perhaps we answered the first lady's prayers. I know this church is true and that the Lord hears our prayers. I am so thankful for you as my family and all the blessings I have. The biggest one being here serving the Lord. I love you all and wish you the best.
Love Elder Wright

Thankful for Breakfast Sandwiches

Butterscotch Pie

New Convert's Birthday Cake Tradition is to Smash Face Into the Cake