Every Reason to Be Happy

Well we had another great week here in the blessed land of Guatemala. It's turning into summer here and wow it has been hot. Like wow I'm sweating all of the time. But I'm working on the tan of my arms so that is good. Anyways me and my companion have changes. So that is sad. I will get a new trainer tomorrow. But that will be good because the Lord knows what he is doing so there is nothing worrying about here. But I seriously loved my companion, he is a great guy. Anyways we had two baptisms over the weekend. That was really awesome. I baptized a little boy who is 10 and has been a member his whole life. His parents are returned missionaries. They have some problems at the moment and he never was baptized so I got to help them out. It was really a good experience. They were super grateful, but pray for them that they can work their problems out so that some day they can be an eternal family. The kid is super funny and he was freaking out in the font because the water was really cold. He choose me to baptize him because I am white (haha) and because he said I am more fun than my companion. He is a great kid. We also baptized the cousin of all those boys that are members. He is 12 and super awesome and loves to come to church. They will be leaders down here one day.
We also have another baptism on November 9th of a man whose wife and family was baptized in July. We finally got him to commit and he will be a really solid member. We got him to commit when we talked about the Atonement with him. That is such a joyful message that despite all of the mistakes we make we can become clean again. Always. And we should repent every single day. Because we all make mistakes. I don't care who you are, you are not perfect. I'm not even close to being perfect and all we can do is our best.

Sometimes it's hard to teach people the gospel here because honestly they can't read or really understand. But what I do know is that God loves them as much as he loves any of us. And we will all be judged according to our abilities and God knows us. Really I can feel God's love for these people so much. On Saturday the kids that I have talked about wanted to buy us food. So they bought tamales for us. And I felt bad because they have no money. But as we sat there on the mattresses on the dirt floor and ate the food with our hands, I felt the love of God for them. I don't know everything or anything and honestly it's been awesome to get destroyed this last month and be humbled. But what I do know is that God loves his children and through Jesus Christ we can return to live with him again. And that gives us every reason to be happy. Love you all, have a great week.

Elder Wilkes


Help Build the Kingdom of God

We had such a crazy week here. Last Thursday we got a call that we needed to go down to the hospital and do some translating. There was a group of North Americans down here doing service and a dentist from Utah who was a member. None of them spoke Spanish so we had to translate for them. Anyways my companion and I thought that we would be translating for the dentist. But him and I were put in the surgical section of things. So let's just say that we have witnessed a live hip replacement and translated the Spanish for the nurses. Wow. We had to change into doctors clothes and everything. My comp has learned English through his mission and he was really taken back at how unfriendly all of the North Americans were to him. They were all hard core Christians from Georgia. We taught two of them the restoration. They were actually really good and I was the senior comp because I speak English a little better. It was a crazy experience. We also had a baptism this week. It was a 17 year-old girl and she was really happy to be baptized. Her mom believes but will not get married so she couldn't get baptized. We have been working really hard with the recent converts lately because the retention is not as good as it needs to be. It needs to be 100 percent. Sometimes I get kind of scared because we are so focused on baptizing. And I think that the real purpose is to bring others closer unto Christ. Part of that process is baptism, but there is a lot more for members and for missionaries. We can always do more to help build the Kingdom of God where ever we are. The culture here is really funny. My favorite part is how honest people are. My face has been destroyed since I got here because of the humidity and people are always asking what happened to my face. Its so funny. Also we had a really interesting experience on Sunday. We were with a less active mom and dad and their kids that come to church. The parents started fighting and we learned that they were going to separate and the husband has been having an affair. But the spirit helped us know what to say. My comp is really powerful and the bishop is helping them because we don't have that kind of authority. I am grateful that I never had to worry about that kind of stuff growing up. Love you all, have a great week.

Elder Wilkes


How the Lord Works

We have had another week here on the beautiful earth. Yes, we did feel the earthquake yesterday. It sounds like all of the family is doing well. Addi had a good baptism, Jamison is running fast, and Baker and Ward are playing one of my favorite sports, flag football. Great game.

Well, I have experienced my first week of disappointments in the mission. But it really is good. I have learned a lot and when the Lord humbles you that's when you can learn. Our baptism feel through this week and every single one of our appointments except for two. The only people who ever want to listen are thirteen year-old girls or old men who just want to fight with us. They are so funny. Yesterday we hiked way up in the mountains to find investigators and it was kinda hard because none of the people can speak real Spanish. It was more like an Indian or Lamanite Spanish. Also I got sick. Justin has told me some stories about sickness on his mission and let me say I think I can understand now. All part of this experience. I have learned a ton this week about how the Lord works and what he works through. We need to have faith in Him to see miracles. But really the most important part as missionaries is that we always do our part; and that is to invite others to come unto Christ. We still see miracles everyday and it really is a blessing to be here. I boar my testimony in Spanish in church and my companion said that is made sense so I think I am getting a little better, but there is still along way to go. This is kind of short but I really don't have much to say. Other than the Lord works in his own ways and in His own time. We keep finding all the unprepared people right now but that means we are just narrowing down the ones that are prepared. Love you all.

Elder Wilkes


First Baptism in Asiole

Well, I'm back everybody. It's been a good two weeks. My first area is Asiole, part of Amatitlan. My trainer is Elder Aragon. He is really just a good guy. I will be his last comp because he goes home in December. He is a really hard worker. One thing about our mission is we don't waste time so we seriously walk as fast as we can all the time. Literally all the time. My calves are huge. Seriously. The first day that we went out I had to run to keep up but I am improving my form. The key is just to swing your arms as fast as you can. That seriously helps. Anyways my area is a nice place. It's super poor and most the people just have dirt floors but they are so awesome. There are such solid kids here and we have a ton of recent converts so we visit them a lot because that's a new mission-wide thing that you keep in contact with converts for one year after baptism. We have such solid people.

Anyways, conference was a blessing because it was in English so that was fun to understand. Also on Sunday I baptized someone. First week in the field so that was cool. It was honestly the craziest situation ever and some how it worked out. One thing I have noticed is that this is seriously the craziest place on earth. But it was a good experience to be able to baptize E. She is having a lot of problems right now so keep her in your prayers. Her husband went to work in the capital last week and has not returned. He is a member. So we are hoping to figure that out. We really see miracles everyday. Yesterday after a good five hours of rejection we found a good family. They are prepared for the message they just need to get married because they are like mom and dad's age and have a ton of kids they have just never been married. But we will figure it out.

I really like my area and the lake that everyone thinks is the Waters of Mormon is like ten minutes away. Oh yeah, and Clark was in my area last week and bought my zone leader an ice cream. Our house is fine and there are a good amount of bugs in it but they don't really do anything harmful so it all works out. We do a ton of contacting and go on buses and go to the front and present ourselves as representatives of Jesus Christ. That is really fun. My mission president is a little intimidating but he and his wife really do love us. I am teaching an English class to investigators tonight so that will be fun. My favorite people here are six boys who were recently baptized. Their dad can't speak or hear and they only have three mattresses on a dirt floor and their mom disappeared a few years ago, but they are so happy. They want to be missionaries and they would be powerful. One is like eight and he is so cute and funny. They are choice people of God.

My favorite part from conference was when we learned that we need to walk as Jesus walked. Not where he walked. Everyday should be a consistent effort to be more like Him. Our mission goal is to baptize cada semana (every week). So that's what we have to do. We have two set for this Sunday so pray we can pull them out. Thank you for all the love and support.

Elder Wilkes


First Day in The Field

"Please enjoy this photograph of Elder Wilkes, whom we had the joy of welcoming into our mission on October 1st, 2014.  We truly appreciate your efforts in preparing him according to the standards of the Lord now that the bar has been raised for missionaries entering the field of labor in Guatemala and everywhere in the world... We will strive to teach and protect Elder Wilkes, so that he can have a wonderful mission serving the Lord Jesus Christ in Guatemala."

Melvin G. Markham 
Mission President 

Elder Wilkes pictured with President and Sister Markham