Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Loving my time here in Guatemala

Hey everyone! How's everything going in the States? I am LOVING my
time here in Guatemala. It is such a wonderful blessing to be able to
be serving and learning alongside many people who can't even speak
english! My Spanish is really progressing. But teaching the gospel in
Spanish is still hard. I worry so much about what I am going to say
that I end up not 'really' listening to what our investigators are
saying. We don't have any real investigators anymore. We just teach
our teachers who role-play certain people, and they take notes and
such so they can 'progress' in that character. My last lesson went
really well. I was able to listen and communicate exactly what I
wanted to say, and i was able to pull out a few scripture references
that I hadn't planned on sharing. Such a cool experience. My companion
Elder Tarin reminds me so much of Holden (speaking of Holden, I have
NOTreceived his letter) (sorry, the email sent automatically again!). He
smiles like Holden, he talks like Holden, and his sense of humor is
similar. He is a great guy. Both of my companions are great guys. We
feel like we've known each other for years. I have had some other
really cool experiences this week. One of the Hermanas asked me for a
blessing. She wouldn't say what is going on in her life, but I was
able to give her a blessing and she has been doing better. Also, one
of the latino missionaries came into our room early in the morning and
asked if I would give him a blessing. I told him that I would have to
give it in English, and he said that was fine. And one day this week
another Hermana in my district got really sick and we had to run
around this place trying to find Presidente. He wasn't here, so again,
I had the opportunity to give a blessing. When Presidente arrived, he
asked us urgently: Have you given her a blessing? When I told him that
I had, he became really calm, and simply said 'Then I'm not worried.'
Within 40 minutes she was back in class with no problems. It was
pretty cool. I LOVE my district. I am so grateful that I get to be
their District Leader. Last night we had a district meeting to discuss
a devotional that the former temple president of the Guatemala City
temple gave. We just chatted about it for a while, and then I was able
to share some thoughts and bear my testimony to all of them. It amazes
me that a group of 18-21 year olds can sit down without any
supervision and have such a mature, powerful meeting. I felt the
Spirit so strongly as I told them that each of us has been called by a
prophet to take the name of Christ upon us literally; we wear it
everyday on our tags. I told them that I have learned this week that I
need to leave Briggs Andreasen in Redlands California for the next two
years. I am Elder Andreasen now, and any time I spend thinking or
speaking or acting like Briggs Andreasen is not time that is spent as
well as it could be. During that devotional, our district had the
opportunity to sing a special musical number with a latino district.
We sang the EFY medley of 'as sisters in Zion' and 'Army of Helaman'
in spanish. It was really cool, and I felt the spirit as I sang (not
to the level that I usually do when singing it in English, but I still
felt it!!). I am so excited to be speaking completely in spanish soon,
and to be in El Salvador among children of the Lord who are prepared
and waiting for me. I love you all! Thank you for your support!
Love, Elder Andreasen

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