Growing as I serve the Lord for two years and love the people for a lifetime

Monday, December 22, 2014

'Twas the Week Before Christmas

What´s up? Guat is good. So this week, we had divisions with our ZLs. Twice. We had baptismal interviews that kinda got messed up a bit, so we ended up doing a division on Wednesday, and again on Friday. It was pretty good. I was in their area both times. I love their area. It´s really interesting, because part is super super rich (LIke lots of new cars... Those don't exist here), and right down the street is a super poor area. 

Hey! I saw my first dead dog a couple days ago! I don´t want to see another one. Cold, dead dog eyes looking up from the street is a scary/nasty sight. I didn´t take time to smell it. 

So all of the wards here have ¨Convivios,¨ which I´m pretty sure means ¨Feast.¨ Anyway, we had BBQ pork cooked in Budweiser (Yes, that Budweiser) BBQ sauce.  It was awesome. 
The Primary kids also did a Christmas thing. So stinkin´cute. ("The black cow is making a Macy face" - Fin)

Also, I took a picture with this piña. I haven´t chupa'd the piña in almost 5 months. 

We had a baptism on Sunday before church! It was great! Her name is Juana, and she speaks Quiche, and only a bit of Spanish, so it was hard to teach her, but with the spirit and her "boyfriend" translating, we were successful. Her "boyfriend" was a less active, and by teaching her, we also reactivated him, so that was awesome.
We had a Priest in our ward who´s preparing for a mission do the baptism, so that was really cool. He was thanking me and Elder Funes so much for the opportunity. 

This morning, we went to an Asilo (I think it´s like a rehab/old folks hospital), and sang Christmas songs and talked with the residents there. 
It was so cool to see their faces light up when they heard us.
Well, I can´t wait to TALK to you guys on Thursday
Love you :)

Q & A Session:

1.  Why do you say the "boyfriend?"

The boyfriend is 30. The girl is 14. 

2.  Where did you get that blue tie?!

I got the tie in the Central Market.  It´s actually for Brennan, unless I decide I like it too much to give up. I get lots of compliments on it. 

3.  So, where are you going on Christmas Day?  Are you having lunch there, too?  I hope you get tamales!

For Christmas, we have a lesson at 10, then we´re going the 1st Counselor in the bishoprics after to Skype and have lunch.  I guess the big day to eat here is the 24th - like Thanksgiving and Fourth of July all in one - lots of food and fireworks.  I'm sure I will get tamales!

4.  The next transfers are right after Christmas, right?  You'll probably change companions...

Elder Funes will transfer.  He has 6 months here.  I'm a maybe.  He has been a fantastic trainer.  I have no doubt that he'll be a zone leader soon, and most likely an AP by the end of the mission.

5.  When are you going to the Central Market again?  I want you to look for a Nativity!

Probably next week....Yes, I will look for a Guat Nativity. I saw a cool one a couple weeks ago. I´m buying one for my future house with my smokin' hot wife and niños as well. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Light Unto the World

We had a fairly uneventful week this week, so my email won´t be all that long. Lo siento. Our baptisms/ wedding fell through because we ran into an unexpected problem with the paperwork, but we´ll have a baptism this week, and hopefully we can get everything sorted out to baptize the family in January. 
We had stake conference this week. A Seventy came and talked to us, and he shared a super awesome scripture- D&C 103:9. He challenged the members of the stake to focus in 2015 on helping to bring 2 people to Christ- 1 less active, and 1 nonmember. It was a super great talk. I´m at the point where I understand about 95% of what everybody is saying!! I love it. Hard work is paying off. 
So, for the past few weeks, Elder Funes and I have been playing the "Slug Bug" game, and the other day, we were waking side-by-side, about 4 feet apart, when we saw a bug at the same time, and went to punch the other, but ender up doing the coolest fist bump ever. It was awesome. 
The Christmas season is awesome because everybody wants to feed us. We had 2 lunches yesterday. Super fantastic. It sounds like I´m going to gain back all of the weight that I lost during Christmas week. 

Yesterday, we were at a member´s house, and I guess their cat got hit by a car, because it was only walking with it´s front legs, with the back 2 dragging behind it. I was fine until the image of Herbert´s dog from Family Guy popped into my mind. Kinda lost it. Whoops. 

Love you all! 

D&C 103:9 reads "For they were set to be a light unto the world, and to be the saviors of men."

Monday, December 8, 2014

100 Days of Guat

How´s it going? 

First off, I loved the Christmas decorations. It feels like Christmas whenever we´re in our house.  Speaking of Christmas- The Christmas devotional was great last night. It was in spanish, but all of the songs were in english, so that was awesome. 
We get lunch every day at a little Comidor for Q13. The owner loves us. We go with a recent convert. He´s a pretty awesome dude. 
Last week I said that I wasn´t in the ward choir. Well... I spoke too soon. 

I had my first interview with the President this week! It was really cool. President and Sister Crapo are amazing people. I really lucked out. 

Oh, yesterday was the Day of the Devil. Why is that a day? I don´t know- It´s Guatemala. But basically, people just beat up devil piñatas to signify their beating out the bad in their lives. Also, lots of firecrackers. Good stuff. 

I wore my USA socks for Pearl Harbor Day (not pictured). Keeping the pride. 

I know this was a short email, but I´m working hard and learning a lot!

I love you all!


P.S.  This week I´ll probably withdraw about $30. And a trip to Wendy´s/McDonald´s.
Okay, the Richard G. Scott talk- That was our district´s joke in the CCM. We watched a (prerecorded) devotional with that in it from 2009 on a Tuesday, and then a live devotional with the EXACT SAME TALK on Sunday. Then, we watched a video with that exact segment in it a few weeks later. Am I in a nicer part of the city...? I wish I knew haha. But it is true- The Guatemalans do sacrifice a lot to go to the temple, especially if they live way far away from the City. I did watch the Christmas Devotional! It was great. 


1.  Are you warm enough at night?  Can you buy sweaters/scarfs/mittens, etc. at the market?   Is it warm during the day and sunny?  Are you in the dry time of year?  

Yes, yes, and Yes...

2.  Did you get your investigators married and baptized?  Love the pic you sent of your baptism last week.  She looks small, but fierce.
We have a marriage and a baptism this Friday!  We're baptizing 4 people!

3.  I have listened to more and more Christmas music each day.  Do you hear it?

Sometimes.  I walk a little slower in the streets when I hear Christmas music.

4.  What kinds of recipes do you want me to send?  Dinner?  Cookies?

Everything that I'd need a recipe for, I'd also need an oven for...sadly, this mission is lacking in the oven department.

5. When's your next adventure as a zone?  What are you going to do/see?

I think we are going Christmas caroling in a couple weeks.

6.  Did you set up the Christmas decor?  Hope you enjoyed the treats that were in the box, too!

I did!  And I loved them!

7.  What aspect of your testimony has grown the most so far?

Prayer. Maybe it´s because I actually pray all the time now, but I have been able to see the miracles and blessings that happen because of prayers of faith. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Dia de Accion de Gracias, Bautismo y Servicio

Alright! Eventful week. Well, Thanksgiving was a bit different this year. I spent the day teaching instead of lounging around eating orange rolls. 

We found a guy on the street and started talking to him, then we went into his house to bless his home and family and teach him a bit. It was going well, and then his wife came in (She was SUPER Evangelical) and was talking with us a bunch. We asked if we could end with a prayer, and the husband and wife just looked at each other and gave a litte "Aight" nod. They both started praying (People here don´t just listen to the person giving the prayer) and out of nowhere the wife just starts waving her hands over our heards and just have the most fervent "¡Bendice tu siervos! En el nombre de Jesucristo bendice ellos!" (translated:  Bless your servants ! In the name of Jesus Christ bless them!) and a bunch of other things. No joke, she prayed for a good 7 minutes. I had my sweater in my mouth so I wouldn´t bust up laughing. This lady was a good 4´11", and it was just hilarious to listen to her. 

For dinner, I celebrated in the most American way I could think of: McDonald´s. I was able to find a pie too. Fantastic stuff. I do miss pumpkin pie though. 
We had a baptism this week! Hermana Jesus. We found her about 5 weeks ago, and have actually been calling her "Jesusa" the whole time. Whoops. But I was actually able to baptize her! 
It was super awesome! I walked out of the font just beaming. It was so cool to finally baptize somebody myself. 

We did a service project in the area of our zone leaders. Pretty much the Favela. But I took some cool pictures with a dog there. 
 I hope you all had a super good week! Love you and miss you!
-Elder Konold
Questions for this week from Mom:

1.  Have you had to bless or pass the sacrament?  Have you had to sing in the choir?!  

Nope.  We don't have a choir.  And we always have sufficient priests to bless and pass.

2.  Would you like us to send you some syrup or can you get the fake stuff there?  Any thing else you want me to send that you can't get there?  

I can buy fake stuff.  We have a bunch in the house, but we have yet to use it.

3.  When are you allowed to call on Christmas?  Do you have a members home or the bishops home to go to to call/Skype?  Do you want to look for a calling card just in case the Skype doesn't work?  We can put more money on your debit card.  I don't like keeping a high balance on there in case it gets stolen. I'm sure you can find them at a convenience store or Walmart.  

Christmas Eve!!! I think we're going to go to either our Stake President's house (he's in our ward) or our ward mission leader's.

4.  Does the Guatemala temple/ CCM have lights for the holiday and a nativity?

I honestly have no idea, but the temple is in the South mission, so I doubt I´d see it anyway. 

5. Have you heard of any Guat holiday traditions?  Are you getting together with your zone on Christmas?

I have not heard of any traditions yet, but I´m sure I will soon. Yes, I think a few zones all get together and have a Christmas party type thing. 

6.  How are your investigators?  And the members in your ward?  Who's your favorite?  Do you draw them in sacrament in your journal?

Investigators are good. We´re working on growing our investigator pool right now, but we have 7 people with a baptismal date. My favorite member in our ward is a priest named Jonathan. He´s the stake president´s son and he´s actually getting ready to receive his call and go out on a mission, so he goes out with us a lot. He´s a pretty cool kid. 

Glad to hear Colby and Paul had great talks. Has dad been able to talk with Colby in Portuguese yet?
Answers for the week from Dad:

Thanksgiving looked awesome. Definitely missed the orange rolls and turkey. I am going to Skype Christmas Eve. I´m not sure what time yet, but I imagine that it will be sometime midday. I´ll probably know for sure in a couple weeks. We email at the family history center in the stake center. Sometimes we go to an internet cafe in the mall, but not very often. I haven´t watched the church video yet, but I´m sure I will soon. Right now we´re working on getting investigators married. Once they do, we´ll be able to baptize them. Their baptismal date is Sunday, but I think we can get it done. 
My spanish is coming along. I understand just about everything that is said in our lesons. I work every day on trying to speak like a Latino. I haven´t had to give a talk yet, but I hopped up last fast Sunday and bore my testimony. I can´t wait to hear Macy speaking. 

Today I received the following message from another missionary mom:  Chessa, here are some photos of your son! Elder Lewis said he, your son and Elder Flake are the only gringos in his new Zone. Zona Central - Zona 7 in the city.

The dark photo is eating a "thank you meal" prepared by a recent convert after they helped pull down and put up a wall on their home as a zone service project. The photo of our two hijos is after they went on splits. Elder Lewis said your son is a GREAT missionary!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Lost in Pronunciation

How's it going this week?! I had an awesome week, But I don't have a whole lot of time to talk about it. I was INCREDIBLY grateful to receive your packages. 
I have Christmas morning sitting under my desk. Very excited. I got to see almost all of my friends from the CCM at a conference we had last week for new missionaries and their trainers, so that was really good to see how everybody else is doing. President Crapo told us a story about the importance of language study. When he was a missionary, They'd use a chair to illustrate the Apostasy. They'd say "Esta silla es la iglesia de Jesucristo. Las patas (legs) son Un Profeta, Los Apostoles, Revelacion y Autoridad." He was training a new elder who was teaching that, and the new elder said "Esta silla es la Iglesia de Jesucristo. Tiene 4 putas (Definitely NOT legs)..." That was an awesome story to hear. It was even funnier because our President said it.
 {Elders Aubrey, Konold, Chabries, and Gurksnis reunited!}

So Thanksgiving is this week.... I'm going to try to buy a pie to celebrate. Maybe we'll feast on McDonald's (You can have it delivered here). We'll. see. Well, I'm onto my size 31 suit pants. All this walking is doing me some good. If only I could swim, I'd be looking awesome right now.
Something I found out this week- Guatemalans don't use syrup for pancakes, they use honey. I thought my comp was just being dumb and didn't know that we had syrup in the house, but we had breakfast at a member's house this morning and they gave us honey for pancakes. Guatemala.

Well, I love you all and can't wait to talk to you next week!

P.S. Glad to see Brennan didn't disappoint. And I'm glad to see Brennan is stepping into my loading responsibilities... But the dude needs to play some Tetris or something, that truck is lookin' loose! I can send packages through pouch. I'm going to do that. I obviously haven't been buying anything on my iTunes account. My guess is that I'm somehow still logged in on a device at home. I'll talk to the nurse this week. And yes, I got my package this week.

I sent him a list of questions for this week, too:
1. What has been your best day so far? Last friday. It was a pouch Christmas for me
2. Do your feet hurt at the end of the day? Are your shoes holding up? My feet used to hurt while I was still breaking in my shoes. They're fine now.
3. With transfers tomorrow, are you going to be able to go see some of your CCM friends? No, we only go to the change conferences if we or our companion is transferring
4. Are you getting enough food to eat? A veces. I'm not starving.
5. What has been the most interesting thing you have eaten? Fiambre
6. What was the market like? Have you been able to explore a little? The market was cool. Much better this time because there were less people and I could speak much better.
7. Is the City beginning to decorate for Christmas? YES. A bit. And I hear Christmas music sometimes

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Legal in the Guat

"I think I forgot to tell you that we were going to the temple and our P-day was Tuesday this week.  Whoops...."
Good week this week. Fun stuff. Happy time.
{I'm lucky to have the temple close by!}
I´ll start by saying that I finally finished the Book Of Mormon this week. That was pretty cool. I guess it only took about 10 years to get past "I Nephi..."
So on Wednesday, I had to go to the Immigration office to sign my visa to let me hang out in the Guat for a couple years. I was super stoked to see my buddies from the CCM, but my whole district went on TUESDAY. I was bummed. I guess I´ll have to wait another 6 weeks to see them, unless I see some of them at Christmas. Speaking of Christmas, for the first time in my life.... I´m 100% okay with hearing Christmas music before Thanksgiving. I bet my mom will jump for joy when she hears that. Maybe it´s because Thanksgiving doesn´t even exist here. Maybe it´s because it´s just english music. Who knows?
We has a whole bunch of less active members and investigators at church this week. That was super cool. We´re teaching one family who´s kids get super excited when we come over and ask for all of our folletos.
Last P-Day, the nurses came by and gave us all Influenza shots. Super fun times.
{Do you sense any fear of needles behind that smile?}

Well, that´s all for this week. Hope you´re all having a good time.

Much love,

P.S.  I had no idea you guys were going to Hawaii haha. Or I guess I forgot. Sad to see dad´s beard is gone, but I bet you´re stoked. I got your package today! I´m going to open it tonight. I finished the Book of Mormon yesterday, so that was cool. Hope you guys are having fun!

Love, Fin

Monday, November 10, 2014

Guatemala Goodwill

This week's letter was very short.  They were on their way to the central market with other missionaries today!
I´m sorry to report that this week wasn´t nearly as exciting as my last. After emailing last week, we went to a mall and went to what is basically the Guatemalan equivalent of Goodwill. If you've ever wondered where all of the DI&Salvation Army stuff goes, I found it. I was looking through all of their t/shirts and was cracking up because they had lots of ones from Utah. I actually found a UofU ¨Beat BYU¨shirt, so I´m planning on having lots of fun with that ;) 
 {My street}
{My house}

On Thursday, we helped a family move into their new home. We moved a 4 foot wide, 300 lb. dresser up 3 stories. We did that on a spiral staircase that was about 3 feet wide. That was not an easy experience. Very interesting, and very tiring. I think those people have half of the furniture in Guatemala. 

We found lots of new investigators this week. One family is kind of interesting... The guy is 30, and his ¨wife¨ is (Drumroll please) FIFTEEN! With a 2 year old son! There was fury in my eyes when I found that out. 

Hey! I saw a cockfight in the street yesterday! There were feathers everywhere. Both of them survived. I promise! My comp and I are getting along great! He cooks me food, and I translate love letters into English for an American girl he likes. Good stuff. 
That´s all for this week! We may or may not have a baptism this weekend. We´ll see.

-Elder Konold