Christmas 2015

Well it sure looks like everyone had a very good Christmas. I saw the pajamas of everyone and they looked very stylish. It was so good to kind of see everyone's faces on Friday. The internet was very bad on my end, but everyone looked good. I still can't believe that Mikala is going to have a baby. So that is going to be pretty crazy to come back to someday.

Anyways from us down here Christmas was pretty normal. I felt bad because on Christmas Eve we have permission to stay out late with a church leader... but I was super sick so we didn't do anything. I felt really bad for my companion. But it all turned out good. On Christmas day we did all of the calls and then we cleaned out house and then we went out and worked afterwards. Man Christmas is kind of sad here in Guatemala because there is just so much wickedness. It really is nice to have knowledge of the Lord, Jesus Christ. He really is the only one that brings peace into our lives. 

Anyways this Sunday we are going to have a baptism. It is actually a very good friend of our bishop. So that is always exciting and refreshing to see someone make a change in their lives. Well just so everyone knows I am going to write next week on Wednesday because we have changes this next week I love you all.

Elder Wilkes


Christmas Season Focused on Jesus Christ

Well holy cow I saw some pictures of snow today and wow that looks so cool. Next year I am going to freeze in the Christmas season. Anyways as usual it is very hot here. Anyways just so everyone knows I am going to be calling home at like 12:45 or 1 in the afternoon. Someone just email the Skype account that you are going to use before that time so that I have it....

Anyways we had a really good week last week we really have seen a ton of miracles lately. On Sunday we had a baptism of a 19 year-old kid. He used to be a member of a gang so we didn't know if he was going to end up getting baptized..but in the end he was able to do it. I don't think i will ever forget the look on his eyes as he came out of the water. I think that seeing people be forgiven of their sins is really the sweetest thing that we can ever see. Lately I have realized that watching people discover the truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the coolest thing on earth. I don't think that there is anything quite like it. I really am so grateful that that is what I get to do each and everyday.

Anyways life is crazy as usual. We do a ton of divisions and stuff so I don't work in my own area a ton. But things always work out. I really am so grateful for this Christmas season that I have to be able to focus on nothing other than Jesus Christ. I know he lives and that he is the center of everything we do I am so thankful he was came down from heaven to suffer for my sins. I hope we can all remember that this Christmas season. I love you all. See you on Friday.

Elder Wilkes


Seeing Miracles

Dear Family,

Well it has been another good week here in Guatemala. Things are going really good here as usual. Seriously my mind goes blank when I start to write these emails. Anyways this last week we were able to have 2 baptisms. They were both very cool and very spiritual. On Sunday we baptized a man whose name is Vicotriano Aquino. He seriously can not even understand us at all. He is deaf. I remember that the first time that we found him we just gave him a Book of Mormon. He read a ton of it the first day and then he pretty much just told us that he needed to be baptized into the church. Then in the Baptisimal service he shared his testimony and wow he just started crying and it was so cool.

We really are seeing a ton of miracles right now. Last week we found a part-member family. They are a family that was baptized like 30 years ago. The lady said that they moved and then they never could find the church here. Anyways they came to church on Sunday and they loved it. So that has been really fun. Well I love you all. I will see you all next week.

Elder Wilkes


Once Again I am Here Sweating as Usual

Dear Family,

Well it is good to hear from everyone again once again I am here sweating as usual. Sometimes I think that we do not really appreciate air conditioning as much as we should. Anyways this last week we had a really good week. Also I just wanted to give a shout out to Jamison for running in a national race. Mikala, today brought to memory when him and I tried to first make an attempt running to Lone Peak and back and really how hard it was for us. But by small and simple things are great things brought to pass. Jamison you are my hero, just wanted you to know.

Anyways today we are going to have a baptism... so that is going to be so exciting this lady has been waiting to get baptized for over 50 years. So it will be a great day for her to receive the remission of her sins. Also this Sunday we are going to baptize a man named Vicotriano Aquino. He is sooooo cool. He used to be a pastor and has been baptized 3 times. He seriously cant even hear but he has read the Book of Mormon and has received a spiritual witness. God really has given us such powerful instruments and if we are smart enough to use them we can do some real damage. Anyways all I know is that God lives and he loves us. Don't have much time today because we have a trillion things to do.

Love you all,
Elder Wilkes


A Thanksgiving to Remember

Well it sounds like everyone had a good Thanksgiving. I am not going to lie any picture of food that I got made me pretty jealous. On Turkey Day we are fried cauliflower for lunch with rice and beans and at night we ate a pizza that we bought from some place. It was a Thanksgiving to remember. Oh and also that day we had a baptism. So that was made it a day to remember. She was a girl that had pretty much gone to church her whole life she had just never gotten permission to get baptized.

Last week we did have a really cool miracle. We made goal that we were going to help the ward a ton with reactivation. Anyways on Friday night we went to visit a family of less actives. In the house I started asking the mom when she got baptized and we were just getting to know them. Anyways we found out that the mom had never gotten baptized. We figured out that because she was selling alcohol in her store that she had never gotten baptized. We started talking to her and she said that she had been praying to stop and to have someone come visit her to help her get baptized and then the very next day we showed up! She is preparing to be baptized this next Tuesday.

Yesterday for p-day we went to the beach. It was cool and there wasn't even that much garbage. Also yesterday I went to get my hair cut and the lady made a mistake and took off all of the hair on the sides of my head. I would send a picture...but I would rather not. Anyways I love you all. I know the Church is true.

Elder Wilkes


Golondrinas, Escunitla

Well I am going to be honest at this point my mind goes blank when I email so I really don't have much to say. Here I am in the area of Golondrinas in the zone of Escunitla. I am still a zone leader and things are going well. I moved from the mountains of the country to the coast and holy cow let me just say that it IS SO HOT HERE. I really have never felt heat like this. But it is a very blessed place.

My new companion is Elder Smith from California. He is a great kid and has a little bit less time than I do in the mission. On Sunday I gave a talk. It was pretty funny because they didn't really tell me beforehand...I was the last speaker and when I got up there we still had 25 minutes left. I made it for about 13 minutes and then I was out of words. Haha.

Leaving my old area was hard. It was actually just incredible to see the fruits of our work after 6 months of being there. We have a few families that are half-way to their goal of the temple so hopefully about the time when I am finishing they should be going to get sealed. That is really my dream. Well I love you all. I hope that everyone enjoys their Thanksgiving. I am will make sure to eat something good as well.

Elder Wilkes


Milpas Altas

Well I have a lot of emails today so just a warning this is going to be super short. Anyways this last week I did receive a visit and it was a good reminder of home. I think what I realized the most is that everything at home is basically the same the only thing that is different is me. I just have a little bit different of a mentality.

Anyways back to real missionary life things...this last weekend we had 3 baptisms. We baptized a family that were really, really prepared for the gospel. It was really such a sweet experience to finish in this area with a new family to help the work keep growing in Milpas Altas. Someday I know that I will return to this area and find a church and a strong ward here. Anyways other than that life is good as usual. Love you all.

Elder Wilkes


The Kind of Things That Get Me Pumped Up

Well this last week we had a really good week here. I forgot to say that I was writing today because tomorrow for our zone P-day we are going to the zoo. That was seriously the last thing that I wanted to do....but we have a zone that is half sisters so they kind of get mad if we just chose to play soccer. But anyway I am sure that it will be fun.

Well we had a really good day on Sunday. This week at the beginning of the week me and Elder Gallacher decided that we were going to have 8 people in church and 8 people preparing for baptism. Anyways we worked for those 2 goals this entire week and then on Sunday when we were in church we only had 7 people. But the whole time I could feel that really there was someone else there that was not a member. I knew that someone would be prepared for us. Anyways when we were just about to leave church on Sunday when the 2nd counselor in the bishopric came and pulled aside and presented a wife of a man who is member. They have gone pretty inactive...but then just showed up to church on Sunday. Anyways that was a cool miracle and today we are going to go visit them at 5.

Yesterday we had a meeting with all of the stake leaders and the missionaries and our mission President.. we put in a bunch of new plans and things that we are going to do so that we can see more success and that we can grow faster here. Really it's funny these days that those are the kind of things that really just get me pumped up.

Anyways we have changes next week and I am pretty sure that I am leaving my area... I get emotional even thinking about that. It's crazy how much you can grow to love certain people. Well I love you all.

Elder Wilkes

Here is a picture i took outside of our house today.


The Biggest Thing I've Learned

Well the weeks are really going by quickly. I am very thankful to almost be starting a new month.... That is all the difference in the world for the mission field. Sounds like everyone is doing well I am very proud of you Jamison for the effort you gave in your race.... (nobody even told how you guys did).

Anyways things are going good here for us. We really have found some good people lately... sometimes it is different here because we just have to find the people who are ready to baptized. A lot of missionaries talk about planting seeds but here they don't even give us that option. Anyways one of my recent converts on Sunday was called to be a teacher in the relief society. So that was really cool. I have loved being here in this area for a long time and the progress I have seen in the converts...

Anyways someone asked me what the biggest thing I have learned on the mission is. The biggest thing I have learned is how to present a message. Seriously sometimes I just think of the fact that missionaries have seriously been in Guatemala for a long time......pretty much every single door that we knock has been knocked before.......the difference comes from a missionaries ability to make the gospel look attractive.... you can see this difference in sacrament meeting speakers... Also the apostles are really good at selling what they have. Anyways that is what I have learned. I love all of you and hope that you have a good week!

Elder Wilkes


Another Day to Preach the Gospel

Well it is that time of day again.... anyways things are going good here as usual.. Another day to preach the gospel. This last week was a very, very interesting week for us... A lot of learning and a lot of work to do. On the bright side me and my companion stayed together and that is a huge blessing for me. Lately we have not really had any investigators progress so pretty much we are starting from scratch...

We are teaching this one guy named Ismael Garcia. Everyone in town calls him Tarzan because he used to play goalie for a soccer team here in Guatemala. Anyway he pretty much reminds me of dad because he is like 65 and has a ton of kids.. His oldest sun is a convert and his brother is a guy that we baptized here in June. He is pretty dang funny! His wife hates us though. When we come into his house she will not even look at us. But the thing is if we can convert him to the church the entire city will end up getting baptized!! These small farm towns are fun because everyone knows everyone.

This last week though I have really been in a period of reflection. Over the past couple of months the mission has really gone well. We have had a lot of success and finding teaching and baptizing and retaining people has not been hard. This month we have not seemed to have done anything right. Sometimes we feel like we are doing everything in our power to help other people. Really we just can't seem to figure it our. Anyways yesterday I read John 21 and it really touched my heart. I know that as each and everyone of us look to make changes each and everyday that we really can become more like the savior and we can follow his plan. I love you all have a good week!! Jamison win state tomorrow.

Elder Wilkes

A recent convert made this and put it on his wall.


Find Excitement in Life

Well it is that time of week again... This week I cant send any pictures because where we are at does not have the option to do it.. anyways I am glad to hear that Baker and Jamison had good times at Homecoming! Anyways this is going to be rough because.. I seriously can't think of what to say.. I need more questions.

On the bright side I am staying with my area here in the zone so i am very excited for that! This will be such a good fun change. Anyways I have never stayed in this area for longer than 3 changes so I am exicted for that..

This last week was a little rough..... We found 5 new families. anyways none of the welcomed us back in to their homes after the first time when the spirit was so strong... so we have been working a lot on patience recently.

One thing that has really been worry me here in our zone is the excitement of our missionaries. I seriously feel like me and my companion are trying everything that we can do to help people feel excited. Really it makes me think of where we can find excitement just to live our lives. One of the problems with missionaries is they just fall into a routine. And really I don't think that life should be like that.. life is meant to enjoy and to learn and to grow and have a lot of bad things happen to you but still just know that everything will be okay! I love all and hope that everyone is doing well. I will try and write better letters..

Elder Wilkes


If You Love Me, Keep My Commandments

Dear Family,

Well it sounds like everyone is doing very well. Conference was really, really cool here. It is true mom conference is not as loved and appreciated here outside of the states. On Saturday the sessions were amazing and I was really learning a ton... on Sunday I honestly did not get anything out of it. The internet was not very good and so we had to watch it in Spanish. It is so hard to watch it in another language. The translators are really very boring.... but overall it was a really good time.

This last weekend we had the baptism of Jose Pablo to finish of his family. It really was a very sweet experience. Before he started coming to church he was a very heavy smoker... it was incredible to watch as he was changed by the atonement. As he left the water he said.."now i am clean" it was incredible to see and to hear.

Well this internet is so slow so I am really losing my patience. Today we had our monthly zone training and it was really fun. President Markham came and all of his 6 children were there visiting him. It was very cool to meet all of them. Anyways I really liked President Monsons message in priesthood. Keep the commandments. It has been so funny because all of the converts in our area will not stop talking about that. Yesterday we went to go pick up a convert to visit and he was sleeping, anyways he woke up and came out with his hair all messy and says "If you love, keep my commandments." It almost brought tears to my eyes. The gospel really is so simple. If you love me keep my commandments.

Elder Wilkes


The Temple is a Place of Peace

Dear Family,

Well we had another really good week here as always. This last Wednesday was really sweet because I got to go to the temple for the first time in like eight months. It was really cool and the whole time I got to sit next to our mission president and wow he really taught me a bunch of cool things. Temples are really such places of peace. Even though we woke up about 4 to get there it was worth it.

This last Sunday we ended up having 3 baptisms. We had the baptism of Luis Antonio. He is nine and had been going to church but had never actually gotten baptized. His mom doesn't live with them so it was good to see his feel love from all of the ward members. We also had the baptisms of Jose Daniel and Lili who are the husband and daughter of the lady who got baptized last weekend. It was very sweet and their son Jose Pablo who was the very first out of them all to go to church finally has gotten over his addiction to marijuana and is going to get baptized of Sunday! So that is going to be very exciting to see for their family.

This last week when his mom found out that he was smoking.. she locked him in his room with the word of wisdom phamplet and told him to read it until he had it memorized. It was seriously the funniest thing ever. It is incredible to see the changes of people. The first time we knocked on their doors the dad was just standing outside without a shirt with a bunch of beer cans by him.

On a positive note we found a giant family and had 15 investigators come to church on Sunday! It was so crazy because on Saturday we were there visiting them and right when we finally got everyone settled down in walked like 4 missionaries from another church and started handing out papers about how Mormons don't believe in Jesus...we didn't think they were going to end up coming but in the end they went to church.. Well I am very excited for Conference this weekend! Hope everyone is too. love you all.

Elder Wilkes


Virtue, An Attribute of Jesus Christ

Well we have gone through another week here in Antigua. The time is passing so quickly that I can not even believe it.

This last weekend we did have 1 baptism. It was Janet Cardona. She is really amazing. we only found her 3 weeks ago and was baptized as quickly as possible. Her daughter and husband are preparing to be baptized this Sunday! So that is going to be really exciting. her other son, Jose Pablo was going to get baptized but was having problems with the word of wisdom. He got so sad because he could not get baptized in the end. He actually kind of ran away... so pray that we can find him! Also this last weekend we had a really cool miracle on Saturday. We were driving home from our meeting with the ward mission leader and he told us about a family of members that live in our area. The live like in the mountain not even close to anyone else. Anyways we felt like we should go visit them and we went and they have a kid who is 9 who never got baptized but has been going to church like every week. So he is also going to get baptized this weekend.. I really know that god wants us to have success here and is we are worthy of what he has planned he will give it to us.

Anyways we got a few new rules as a mission to be able to raise the mission to the next level... it really makes me think of the level that the prophets and apostles live on. one thing that i have noticed here is just how sad the world is. really how strong people are here to live and to be faithful in the church. I know that virtue is the hardest attribute of Christ to obtain but it also it one of the most important things in our life. What do we do as members of the church that makes us have more virtue?

Love you all,
Elder Wilkes


The Most Important Thing is Faith

Well it was another good week here in Guatemala. I was looking at all these pictures today and wow i don't even recognize anyone anymore. Ward looks like a full grown man so that was very interesting to see. We had a crazy week last week as usual.

Anyways we did not have any baptisms this past week.  The young man that we were going to baptize decided to wait and get baptized with his parents this weekend. So this weekend we are preparing a family of 4 for baptisms. They are a family of 4 that are neighbors with our converts.

On a cool note all of the converts went to the temple this past Saturday. Three of the families that we have recently baptized all went and the work is working very hard with them to prepare for the temple in one year. What should happen is that in my last month all of the 3 families are going to get sealed in the temple. Many on the converts gave their testimonies on Sunday and just cried. They really are so humble in temporal circumstances that they never even imagined going to a building so beautiful.

Well I really have no idea what to say.. I was thinking lately with my companion about what a missionary really needs to have to be able to have success. Really the most important thing is faith. I think that sometimes as members of the church we doubt or question to many things. But really the one thing that i have learned on my mission is that with faith all things are possible. Love you all. Have a great week!

Elder Wilkes

P.S. Que Dios les bendiga. Elder Gallacher quiere que todos sepan.


The Power of the Spirit

Dear Family,

Well this last week everyone we had changes! My new comps name is Elder Gallacher. He is from Sandy and went to Brighton High School. We entered into the CCM together. We were really good friends.. so it was a very exciting change. I am so excited for these next weeks.

Anyways this last week in Guatemala was elections for president.. lets jsut say that things have been kind of crazy. On sunday night a bunch of protestors lit a bunch of tires on fire in our area..also broke into the school where the voting took place and lit all of the tickets on fire hahha so in my city nobody won for mayor. or we still dont know..

But on the bright side we did have so sweet experiences last week:

The best thing that happened to me last week was a way cool experience we had the afternoon after changes.. We were walking down the street to a second visit of a family that we found. on our way the spirit told me not to go there. I was confused because this was a super positive family. Then I remember this door I knocked a few weeks ago. Anyways we were told to go there and we did. and we found a man who was drinking named juan carlos. anyways we had a powerful visit with him and then he came to church on Sunday. It is incredible how the spirit can guide us in every single moment.

Also on saturday the same thing happend. There is a boy named Juan Pablo who has been coming to church with his neighbors. He is 17 and really has no direction in his life. Anyways he is going to get baptized on Sunday. This last saturday we went to visit his parents and we had such a powerful visit with them. Anyways they ended up going to church on sunday and also are very interested in baptism. I love the gospel and the power of the spirit.

Do we really enjoy the spirit like we shoudl everyday?

Love you Ball hard
Elder Wilkes


A Run Down of Last Week

Dear Family,

Well it is another week here in the internet. These are really the hardest 75 mintues to stay awake in the whole world..

Anyways we have changes tomorrow. My companion Elder Stewart is going to leave. Also Elder Thomas is going to leave and get a real trainer. I am very thnakful for everything that I learned from them.

Well here is a little run down of last week:

Monday:  Well we got special permission from president to leave the zone. We went to like the best mall here that is like 30 minutes from us. Anyways pretty much consisited of us eating Taco Bell. Elder Stewart bought new shoes and then we went home and we cleaned the house.

Tuesday: We had a pretty normal day.. we found 3 new investigators and we did divisones with a kid from Mexico...he was super hilarious and we had an all around great day. For lunch we ate subway. there are only 2 in the whole mission.

Wednesday: We had a good day. We did get in a fight as comps so the spirit was not really with us from like 2 to 5. On the bright side I gave a drunk guy the pen of Elder Thomas.

Thursday: We had a good day and we did weekly planning which is the longest 2 hours all week.

Friday: We had a conference on the tv with President Nelson. The conference with him got canceled because elections here are on Sunday and things are getting pretty crazy.. so we watched it and it was so inspired. I was receiveing a ton of revelation and then the transmition got cut off so that was a bummer.

Saturday: We had to go sign new house contracts and we had to do a ton of surpirse baptismal interviews. The buses stopped and we had to call a member to come get us and we didnt get home till like 10 so we had to call president..

Sunday: We had a good baptismal service with 10 people, as a zone. I have some good pictures but I forgot my camera... President Markham baptized a family of 4 so that was really cool.. we stayed up really late working on dats. We cant sleep on Sunday until we finished..

Yesterday the highlight of the day was playing street soccer with a plastic ball... Elder Stewart and I beat Elder Thomas and our convert Nilson 17 to 3...

Well that's about a recap of everything. I love you all. Have a good week.

Elder Wilkes


Sundays and The Sacrament

Well I think you all got the message that we were going to write Wednesday...we were going to have a conference in the capital with President Nelson but last minute on Sunday night it got changed. So we will have it this Friday. it will not be live anymore and we are just going to watch it via satellite.

Anyways this last week we had a really hard week. Sometimes it really is good to have hard weeks. The new family we brought to church told us never to come back.. feel asleep in a bus one day and we ended up far away...and we found a convert drunk in the street. Sooo you can just say that things were going pretty good. But really it was a great learning experience. This whole last week i had just felt really insufficient. Like i really wasn't doing anything to help anyone else... but then on Sunday i was able to take the sacrament and i really had a sweet peace come over me. I really know that god is happy with me and all of us when we do our best. The sacrament has become an entirely different thing on the mission. It really becomes something that you look forward to every single week.

Funny things that happened this last week:

1. Yesterday morning we were going to the church to send in the dats of the zone. On the way there, we were getting out of a tuc tuc. that is public transportation. anyways I was paying the guy and the bus we needed started to pass by.. so we sent Elder Thomas (the new gringo) to go run and stop it. Anyways he just ended up jumping right in. and the bus started to leave. He turned around and realized that we were not on the bus...anyways he started screaming in english and tried to jump off. I have never seen so much fear in theface of one man. To make a long story short we were able to climb on the back of a bus and make our way in. it was amazing.

2. Also last Friday we went to eat lunch with a wealthy family in our ward. Elder Thomas really still has never had real guatemalan food. Anyways they gave us pickled turnips... so i decided that he needed to eat some. I took the biggest one and put it on his plate. It was the funniest thing on earth watching him eat it. He was gagging and saying he was going to throwup. It was a great exprience. Please pray everyone for our 16 baptisms that we will have as a zone this weekend. we need all the help we can get. I love you all.

Elder Wilkes


One Year

Well this is going to be pretty short today because we don't have to much time. Yesterday a house got broken into in our zone so we have to move the elders out of it today. But that's the blessing of being in charge of an entire zone. Anyways this last week we had was a great week. We were able to bring 10 new investigators to church. As a companionship between Elder Stewart and Elder Thomas and I. We decided that this week were going to just contacts as many people we could in the street. Anyways we did it. On Tuesday we found a new family that all went to church this Sunday. The lessons we had with them were amazing and they are preparing to be baptized on the 30th of this month. Anyways things are doing great.

I cant believe that I have been gone a year now. It has been the best year of my life. I love Jesus Christ and his church and his gospel. Also here are a few pictures. Love you all. Have fun in school.

Elder Wilkes


Like a Storybook

Dear Family,

Well thank you for all the happy birthday wishes. This morning on the bus my companion tried to get everyone to sing happy birthday. Anyways nobody went along with it. But then he just started yelling to everyone that I was rich and American and that I was going to buy everyone cake. It was super funny. When he said that everyone started cheering.

Well this last week we had another sweet week. We baptized. We had a single lady who is the cousin of a convert and she had been to church for like 4 months straight. Anyways we had 2 really spiritual lessons with her. And she decided to get baptized on Sunday.

This last week we found a new investigator named Luis Pacsun. It was Thursday morning and we were just knocking on some doors. We finished a street and I started to leave. Nobody accepted us. Anyways as I was leaving Elder Stewart called to me. He was like I just saw a guy. We went and talked to him and he was like come on in. Anyways we go in and the house is just destroyed. Beer bottles and cigarets were everywhere. We teach him and he cried. The spirit was strong. Like a storybook you know? Anyways we leave a Book of Mormon there. We go back the next day and walk into the house and everything had changed. Cleaned up, he was shaved and showered. HE HAD READ ALL THE WAY TO 1 NEPHI 9. He told us how the book was changing his life. He went to church and will get baptized on the 16. Right now he is just finishing 1 Nephi.

I love the gospel and the spirit. The Lord's work is to help others feel the spirit. I love you all. Have a great day.

Elder Wilkes


Another Sweet Change

Dear Family,

Well first off just want to give a quick birthday shout out to Mikala. Hope you have the best birthday ever. Also shout out to Ryan Reece for joining us as July birthdays here in the family. And to Elise and Micah for having a child.

Anyways my companion and I are not going to have changes so, it looks like we are going to have another sweet change. This last Sunday as a zone we were going to have a huge baptismal service. We had 13 people that were suppose to get baptized. Anyways there was a ton of problems. 10 of the people ended up not getting baptized. We ended up baptizing 3. 2 that were from my companionship and one from another ward. Anyways we ended up having a ton of support and it was really awesome. On Sunday 4 of our converts received the Aaronic Priesthood. And later that day Renato Mendez a convert baptized Hector Morales. It was so amazing to see a convert baptizing.

Yesterday we also had a sweet p-day. My companions mom decided that we could take all of our converts out to lunch. So we took 18 of them to a nice restaurant here in the city. They were literally in heaven. People who live in 2 room houses were just living the dream.

Anyways yesterday we had some really sweet family evenings with the converts. We have had a hard time finding new people so we are going to fast with all the members today to bring new people to church. They really are all so excited about the work. It is so amazing to see. Anyways I love you all. Have a great week.

Elder Wilkes

This is Brandon Garcia who got baptized. He is 16. 

Elder Wilkes

This is Brandon Garcia who got baptized. He is 16.


Be Worthy of His Help

Dear Family,

Well not many things to say this week life is still going good as always. We ended up having our baptism last Tuesday and that was sweet. She was so happy and it really is always amazing to see how baptize and confirmation really change the countenance of a person. This week end we are going to baptize two people to finish out a perfect change of baptizing every week. We really have not done anything other than listen to the spirit of the lord. I really do know that Jesus Christ walks the streets here with us. And that we can call down angels. He is so willing to help us that we always just have to repent daily to be worthy of that help.

One of the people that we are going to baptize is hector Morales he seriously is the funniest guy ever. They go to church about more than 20 minutes on a bus to get there. We don't even have to go pick them up because they just go. We have some members that were going to pass by for them but then they got to excited and left early. They are going to get married on Saturday. Then he will be baptized on Sunday.

The other kid we will baptize is named Brandon Garcia. He is the last one in his family who has not been baptized. He is kind of a rebel. But finally has gotten his act together. Well I don't have a ton of time. Just know that I love you all. Have a great week.

Elder Wilkes

We also worked in field this last week. My area is so pretty.


Hear the Music of the Gospel

Dear Family,

Well this last week was really a crazy week for us here in Antigua. Seriously so many things happened. First off we had a wedding on Saturday and a baptism. A young family of 20 and 22 got married and baptized. It was a sweet experience and we had a convert of 4 months baptize him. We took a lot of sweet pictures and stuff but in the confusion leaving this morning I totally forgot to bring it. But it was a sweet experience and the ward is helping them to prepare for the temple. Really we have been blessed baptizing ever single week in this change. We have really learned to help others hear the music of the gospel. I would suggest that everyone should study that conference talk. We really have just been helping everyone hear and feel and it has made a huge difference.

Anyways with a little success, Elder Stewart and I did get prideful this last week. Oh man the Lord really taught us a lesson. We could not find anyone new and were left with nobody after our baptisms. We also had a super busy week and did have a ton of time to work because we had a lot of things to do for the zones. Anyways on Saturday night, we finally realized that pride had gotten to us. Anyways we made the changes we needed to. I am so thankful for the miracle of forgiveness.

Anyways this week we're not really expecting any miracles. We just had to gain the Lord's trust again. So then the assistants came to work with us yesterday. Me and Elder Pinedo left to work. He is a great guy. We went to visit a lady named Marybel Garcia: she has been to church a bunch. But we had dropped her because she told us to. Anyways we just went to visit her yesterday and the spirit did its job. We just taught through the spirit and she is going to get baptized at 7 tonight. Anyways we called my companion and the other assistant and Elder Stewart and they did not believe me that she was going to get baptized. But she will tonight.

Anyways I have learned that missionary work is not that hard. We find people. Be worthy instruments and then teach people.

Also on a cool side note. Since we completed our baptism goal for the month of June, the stake president here, who is so cool got permission to take us to one of the nicest places to eat in the capital. It was so good. The best steak I have ever eaten. It was like my first dinner in a year. Because we don't have an hour for dinner here. I was pretty sweet. Anyways I love you all and am very thankful for the love and support. Shout out to Ruby Wilkes. And Kendra as well for having a baby.

Elder Wilkes 


What Are You Doing to Recognize the Spirit Everyday?

Dear Family,

Alright well sorry to everyone but i do not have that much time today. My email was not letting me in for some reason. this last week was honestly the best week of my life. We had a miracle baptism. In this month we finished with 7 baptisms as a companionship. We have seen so many miracles.  Here is the story that i wrote my mission president about what happened.

Anyways on Monday we started with a fast knowing that we had to baptize this week. Literally we didn't not have anyone for this week. Nobody. Then that day the spirit went told us of a man who had been coming to church for about a year. 12 missionaries had taught him. He was a goat and did not want anything with being baptized. But that day the spirit told us that he would be baptized. he was our baptism. That day we went to visit him. the spirit was strong but still did not accept his answer. On Tuesday, we visited him he was having back pains. I gave him a blessing and he cried afterwards with relief from the pain. He still did not take that for his answer. Wednesday, the same, excuses, excuses, excuses. we felt the spirit so strong but he (Ronald Lopez) did not accept it. Thursday, we could not find a soul to teach all day. Nobody, we even got lost walking in a forest that turned out to be a park. then that day the lord guided us to a family, of a lady who was baptized as a little girl and her husband. They came to church and he is preparing to be baptized and married on the 13. After that we went and taught Ronald. same old same old. felt the spirit and rejected it. Friday, we got super sick. Had to jump of the bus to go to the bathroom. Bus left and then we surprisingly meet you and Elder Alonso on the freeway. How embarrassing was that. Later we had to go do interviews that day and only had time to teach one lesson. We went and taught Ronald. The spirit was so strong that we could barley walk home after. we were so tired in the spirit. But he still rejected it. Saturday, We went for the last time to visit him. Once again the spirit was so strong. We waited and waited for him to accept. After being in the house almost 2 hours listening to the silence he said, "What time am i going to get baptized tomorrow?" We went straight to the church he had his interview and we baptized him right then.

Anyways Ronald ended up getting baptized. We didn't even get pictures because we didn't have time to go get our cameras. But this last week i have never felt more guided by the spirit. I love you all. I will tell you all the story of meeting a general authority on the freeway when i get home. What are you all doing to recongnize the spirit everyday? love you.

Elder Wilkes


Another Amazing Week in Antigua

Dear Family,

Well we had another amazing week her in Antigua, Guatemala. My companion is still a great guy and we have been doing really well together. Anyways on Sunday we baptized 3 people and it was amazing. It was a complete family baptism. The ward here seriously is so organized we almost don't have to do anything. After the baptism they gave the dad a new white shirt and they made the family feel so at home. We have to go like 15 minutes in bus to get to the church so it really is a huge effort that all of the people make. Really this testifying and challenging missionary thing that we have been doing and applying as a mission is working. That's why we are baptizing a lot. I really do know that the Lord wants us to baptize.

This Friday we have a conference with one of the area seventy so that it is going to be awesome. This last Friday we had interviews with President Markham and one of the Assistants who I am good friends with asked his wife if me and my companion could sing a duet for the conference. Anyways she said yes so we got sucked into that.

Anyways my prayers are with the family, and with Grandma and we will see what happens. But it does sound like everyone is enjoying summer. Shout out to Baker and Jamison for killing it on trek. I had a blast on trek but i was such a problem. Shout out to those guys for being good examples. Anyways as a zone we are really picking up the pace. We had 42 investigators go to church as a stake this weekend so things are looking good. Anyways I love you all.

Elder Wilkes


Leaving My Home of Amatitlan

Dear Family,

Anyways well its that time of week again family members. This last week has been pretty crazy here. I am now in the mountains. I am in the capital of tourism here in Guatemala. ANTIGUA. Anyway i have already seen gringos a few times and its really weird. They literally do not even know what they are doing here. There is also a ton of money here so that is a little weird. My new area is up in the mountains with a bunch of fields and cows and animals and wild things so i really like it. Its always freezing though. i am so cold here. I did finally leave my home of Amatitlan so that was a little sad. But life is always full of new things.

Anyways i am a zone leader now so that is interesting. I feel really unqualified, because i am so young in the mission. But god does have a plan for everyone. There are now different things to do but it is really fun.

This last week we did have a baptism though. His name was Gavino Garcia. My very first day we went to visit his here in this area. He had gone to church 9 times and they could not get him to get baptized. Anyways as a mission we have been working on being missionaries who testify and challenge and that's about it. Anyways we just listened to him and we taught him through the spirit and he was baptized on Saturday. It was an amazing experience and one of the best lessons of my mission.

My new companion is Elder Stewart he is from Orem. He has 20 months in the mission so it has been good to be with someone with more time than me for a while. He is awesome and we are going to baptize 3 people this Sunday. The family Mendez. They are amazing, but pray for them because they get scared that all of the family is going to reject them. But they have received answers and on Sunday the father said the prayer and broke down in tears. Pray for them. I love all of you here are a few pictures.

Elder Wilkes


Take Time Everyday to Feel the Spirit

Dear Family,

Well sounds like things are going well for everyone in the family as usual. Anyways I do have changes so tomorrow I will going to a new area. We do it differently in our mission so as of now I have no idea where I will be tomorrow. But I am very thankful to have served here in this area. I have really learned a lot training and being with my two companions. I have gotten to know Jesus Christ a little bit better here. We might have knocked all of the doors like more than five times but I know that I found the six people that God wanted me to find.

This last week were rejected a lot. So there was not to much excitement. But it is incredible how every single day the Lord put someone in our path to help us so that we could find more people or help someone feel the spirit. My companion and I worked out a lot of differences in these 12 weeks so that we could have the spirit between ourselves. We are very different people and come from very different situations but we are here for the same purpose. And that is Jesus Christ. One thing that I have learned in the mission is how Satan works through distractions. The Spirit really is killed by distractions. I can't believe how much I looked at my phone and things like that before my mission. We all really need to take time everyday to try and feel the spirit. We have to learn how he speaks to us.

Anyways I am praying for Grandma and all of you guys. I love you all.

Elder Wilkes


Seeing the Miracles

Dear Family,

Well it is that time of the week again and it seems like everyone is doing well. Life is going well here too. It is super hot so I guess that means that both of us are here in the summer. I really can't believe that 1 year ago I was getting ready to leave on my mission the time has really gotten fast.

Anyways this last week was a great week to learn. We have been kind of stuck without anyone for a while but we did see a lot of miracles. This last Sunday was the first time that we had nobody to go to church. Absolutely nobody. Anyways we left the house early looking for people and still we did not have anyone. But I promised Elder Sorto that the Lord would give us a miracle if we did our part. Anyways we got to church empty handed. But then after a few minutes a lady and her son walked in. We had taught them about 2 weeks ago but had never found them again. Anyways I just know that we always do our best in every moment that we will see the miracles that God wants us to see.

Anyways we still have this young family we are teaching. Last week they went out of town and we could not talk to them and we were getting worried because we could not find them. Anyways yesterday we could not find them again. We had planned a family home evening with their neighbors, but they were not home. Anyways after that we started looking for them and ended up helping someone move a fridge and then we went back to the house and they had shown up. Once again my faith was strengthened that the Lord knows who he wants in his church and that he will help us do his work. Happy Birthday to Cecelia and Ward. Love you all.

Elder Wilkes


Help Others Feel the Sprit

Dear Family,

Well sometimes I can't believe how fast the time is going. I can't believe that school is ending and that Baker will be in high school. That just seems a little to weird for me. And Ward that is just crazy. Really sounds like everyone is doing good.

Anyways we are doing really well in Alamedas, Villa Nueva, Guatemala. This last week we were blessed as usual. Things are getting a little interesting here because my companion and I have knocked every single door more than 3 times. But the lord keeps on giving us miracles. this last Monday when we left it started raining so hard and every single one of our appointments feel. Anyways nobody was answering their door and the streets where turning into rivers. Anyways as were really looked for the guidance of the spirit we were lead to the door of someone we had contacted like over a month ago. Anyways we found them (a family of a 17 year old girl and a 22 year old guy, they have been living together for 4 years) and we had a really powerful lesson. They just told us how they don't have happiness at all. Anyways they went to church on Sunday. and they loved it so we are going to see what we can do for them.

Really being a missionary is sweet because pretty much you just look for new ways to help others feel the spirit. Everything that we do in our lives is about the spirit. One thing i have learned that it is really hard to live with the guidance of the spirit. Things like judging and getting mad at your companion just drive the spirit away. There is nothing more powerful than unity in the work and in our lives. If we are united as a family, things are a lot easier.

On a sad note a drunk guy just died in the street so that was a little scary. Always be thankful for your blessings. Love you all.

Elder Wilkes


Find Happiness With Jesus Christ

Dear Family,

Well just before I forget I will be writing on Monday this next week. I think. Just so you know. Anyways this last week was honestly an incredible week. On Saturday we had a great small wedding service the only downfall was that everyone but us got there about an hour late. Then on Sunday we had 3 baptisms so that was amazing. The whole wedding the father (who recently went blind) was just bawling. It was a very humbling experience. Then after on Sunday the mother started bawling after the baptisms. She said I just know that God is happy with our family. I know that he is too. It is honestly unbelievable to watch people invite the Holy Ghost into their lives.

Anyways we are pretty much left without investigators after these last baptisms, but I know that we will find some more. We do have this one lady who is a single mother with a 9 year old girl, she has come to church and loved it. But then the other day in a lesson she said she had a dream about me so we kind of got scared and have not seen her since.

Anyways lately I have really begun to notice the difference between living with the spirit and feeling the spirit. Everyone has felt the spirit at some point in their lives through the light of Christ. But very few people live with the spirit. It is crazy to learn on the mission the little things that just drive the spirit from our lives. Yesterday seriously every single appointment we had had fallen through. My companion Elder Sorto just wanted to visit this old crazy guy. But I promised him that if we were  diligent the Lord would give us someone. Anyway at that moment the Lord prompted me to look for a family we had talked to on the street. Well we ended up finding them and had a really powerful lesson. They are 22 and 18 and have been living together for 4 years. As they told us that they haven't been happy in about 4 years. I loved promising them that they can find happiness with Jesus Christ. I know that as all of us grow to know Jesus Christ that we can always live happily. There isn't a better blessing then that.

P.S. It is raining hard now everyday so that is a huge blessing.

Love you all,
Elder Wilkes


Working Hard at Retention

well first off this letter will not have captial letters. sorry to everyone but this keyboard doesnt have a shift button.  anyways it was great to see everyone this last sunday you guys all look great and it does look like elise is really pregnant. but you guys are all doing well. sounds like the wedding was a dream. not going to lie but the pictures of everyone on the jazz court really hit my heart but you know life does go on.

anyways everything is going really good. today we had a meeting with the stake presidency and then the mission president came to my district meeting so that was really exciting. pretty scary but it all worked out well. anyway things are looking good for this weekend. our baptisms fell through last week but that is because the family decided to get baptized together so that should be a great experience. we are going to have a wedding on saturday so i will send pictures of that next week. anyways i dont know what other quiestions you guys have that you didn't ask me on skype but when you guys do have questions just ask them.

one thing is the retention. yes the retention is not exactly what we want at times. but we are working very hard in that. here is this are it can be a little tricky when there are just little kids that have been baptized. without the help of their parents or anything. but this month we have the goal of 90 percent. we just need 5 more converts to come to church. the important thing is that we help them renew their covenants and don't focus on them just as members. the strength of the church will never be decided by numbers.

anyways on the way to the internet today we had a crazy experience as a district. as we were walking to get on a bus another bus pulled up and these two guys grabbed me and were fighting over me to get on their bus. they were going crazy to try and get the 6 of us to get on their bus and not the other. anyways then they grabbed a sister and i just started screaming at them. that they could not touch them because they were holy and then they stopped. so just be thankful today when you can calmly get in your car.

Baker we are teaching a part member family. they have a 9 year old son named gerson. he is reading his book of mormon everyday. he is understanding much but the important thing is he is reading. he is a stud. they also have a crazy grandma who is trying to teach them apostasy. when she prays she will only say the lords prayer so that is  always interesting. anyways i love you guys. have a great week.

elder wilkes


The Lord Wants My Heart Here

Dear Family,

Well I don't have a ton of time today and I will be seeing you all on Sunday. Everyone just dance so hard for me this Saturday. I would say that my heart will be with you but it wont it will be here, because that is what the Lord wants. Anyways we had a baptism on Sunday and that was awesome. and we have 2 more this weekend. Also I will skyping at 6pm on Sunday so be waiting for me. I love you all I know that the church is true.
Elder Wilkes

This is how wet we are when we get home when it rains the picture doesn't really do justice.