The Things I Have Learned

Alright well it has been another week here in blessed Central America. It was good to see everyone's faces this past week and weird to remember that you guys are all still alive. But congrats Micah and Elise for the pregnancy weird that you will be parents.

But anyways we had Christmas here and it was fine. We had p-day on Christmas and that was good. We left the house early and walked around and the city was destroyed. Everything was just dead and there was nobody was on the streets. On the 24th we had permission to stay out late and we were at the Bishop's house. We just had a nice traditional meal of tamales and ponche which is kind of like wassail. Other than that we just took it easy on Christmas.

This weekend we had 3 baptisms. On Saturday we married Fabiola and Javier. They are 17 and 18 and she is going to have a baby in March I think. Also the mother of Javier was baptized. She is 55 and her name is Telma. Also I baptized a little girl in our ward who turned 8. Her parents are inactive and her dad served a mission. It was a good experience. But I have done that twice now and it really just makes me really sad. I made a commitment that I will always be worthy to baptize my own children.

This Saturday we are going to baptize a family of 3. The father had been struggling to stop playing soccer on Sunday. He wouldn't commit to anything. Then yesterday we went to teach them and he told us that they were ready to get baptized. We were so happy, we had been praying and fasting to help him.

So when you guys asked me the things I have learned so far I kind of froze up. What I have learned the most on my mission so far is how infinite and personal the atonement is. Because really sometimes I get so frustrated with how crazy everyone is down here. But really I have learned that I am not the one to judge them and in the last day we will all be judged on our  individual limits. God knows us personally. Also the importance of every member in the ward. Sometimes we can't get members to talk to investigators and really that makes it super hard. Every single individual is important in the church Boyd K  Packer said, "The true success of the gospel will be measured by the spiritual strength of its individual members." Each of us can reach out to somebody that is struggling. I wish I would have done better with that, before my mission with the other youth in my ward. Well I love you all and have a great new year.

Elder Wilkes


The Law of Chastity

Dear Family,

Well it's been another week here in Guatemala. Things are going well here. We have been working hard as usual and that is about it. Anyways right now we have a ton of investigators we had 15 come to church this past Sunday. This Saturday we are going to marry a family. They are 17 and 18 but the muchacha is pregnant. Really being here I have realized how grateful I am to have the Law of Chastity. The guy is named Javier and he is 17. His dad died when he was super young and really never has had an examples in his life. The girl is named Angela and they really just want to start their family off on the right foot. They are going to be baptized on Sunday along with Javier's mom. Her name is Telma and she is just like Mom I really love her so much.

Back on the subject on of the law of chastity. We have been teaching a ton of people who are sexually impure. Really its is super scary how fast the spirit will leave when we have to teach that. It is taken so lightly here and honestly destroyed so many lives. I am so grateful that we have it. Anyways we are also teaching a family named the Familia Ortiz. The husband is scared to get baptized. The wife really wants to. So we are praying super hard that they will get baptized this weekend. I love you all but we don't have a ton of time. I will see you on Thursday.

Elder Wilkes


Absolute Miracles

Dear Family,

Well it's been another week here in Guatemala. My new companion is Elder Martinez and he is from Honduras. He is 18 too. So we are some really young guns here in the mission. He only has 8 months. But he is really awesome and he is a super diligent hard worker.

This week we had 3 baptisms that were absolutely miracles. A father we baptized in the beginning of November had been waiting for his family to finally join him in the church. Honestly they had been making us super mad so we had stopped visiting them and only been talking to the dad. But my new companion wanted to meet them so we went the last appointment of the day. After my companion had gotten to know them a little, they told us that they were ready to be baptized. I honestly could not believe it. All I had ever seen them do was not progress.

Really the thing they had finally done was prayed to know that Joseph Smith was a prophet. And they got their answer. Really I know that anyone who prays to God to know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and if the church is true will get an answer.

In the baptismal service the Mom started crying and said that she finally felt clean for the first time in her life. it was a really good experience and the spirit was really strong. Its amazing to see the ways that the Lord can work on people.

In other news I have no idea what to say in these letters. We are working super hard. Getting about 12 lessons everyday and have a ton of investigators right now. Yesterday was P-day and I cut my hair and we cleaned the house hard core. Anyways send me some questions if anyone wants to know anything specific. Love you all!

Elder Wilkes


The Best Message We Can Take is a Smile

Dear Familia,

Alright well it's Tuesday again. So that means that I am obligated to write to all of you guys. Alright well we have changes so my companion is leaving. So that means that I will be here until febrero por lo menos. He is a good guy and we did have some problems but we got them all worked out. So I will get my third trainer which will be weird. This next change is 8 weeks so that will be a bit long but we have some serious work to do here.

Anyway things are going pretty good. We didn't have any investigators in church on Sunday so that was hard. Pretty much everyone we have found has some serious marriage issues. Shout out to everyone who reads this and is married by the law and not just united in living together like everyone else here. But nevertheless we are still working. I should be having my first marriage in a couple weeks so that will be good.

I really do love Guatemala. It is so crazy. On Sunday we started church with like 10 people because we have been commanded by the area presidency to start on time. Then we blessed a baby and they did it wrong so we had to get out the church manual.  So that was an awesome experience. You really just cant take anything for granted that you get to see here, because some day I wont be here.

Last night we had a fun experience, we were just knocking some doors and some lady just started saying horrible things about the church and Joseph Smith. We were getting pretty offended. But really after we realized how dumb it was. The message that we take to people really is about happiness. And we to be happy so we can take that message to others. The best message we can take is a smile. It really has been good to understand other churches more. There is basically a church on every corner. Its weird to just see the apostasy. The physical affects are very apparent. But it's always nice to remember that really no matter what people say I know that the church is true. And that Joseph Smith was a prophet. No one can ever take our testimonies away. Love you all.

Elder Wilkes


Thanksgiving in Central America

What's up Everybody,

Alright well it's been another week here in Central America. Proud of my family back home who participated in the Thanksgiving run, someday I will proudly join the group. Anyways we had a pretty good week here. We didn't have any baptisms this week. We have 3 people that could have been baptized. But it has been super sad to watch Satan just destroy all of their desires to be baptized. Really I have seen that Satan can honestly be super powerful. But God has way more power. It's really our choice to embrace either power. That's what I have learned from watching this family.

Alright so on Thanksgiving we ended up buying Dominos. That was pretty good and a real blessing. But it wasn't really worth it 20 minutes after when we were flying down the streets. They don't have Thanksgiving here and it was super hot so it really didn't seem anything like it.

Basically this week we have just been looking for news and working with the 3 progressing that we have. We had this sweet guy named Vicente Lopez who came to church on Sunday. Later that day we were at his house and he was asking us questions about the service. One of them was if Nefi was a priesthood title. At first we were super confused were he came up with that then we remembered the Elders Quorum President's name is Nefi so that was super funny. Also when we were heading to that lesson we were kinda late and so I was booking it and my comp was running behind me. I was sweating super hard and when we went to leave the lesson he thought I had sat in water. Anyways I just had to explain that I just sweat a lot. Other than that everything is good. The church put out a sweet Christmas video so we are working hard with that. It's awesome seriously everyone go watch it. Alright well everyone have a good week.

Elder Wilkes