What a Blessing

Well I don't have that much time today but thank you everyone for your emails. Things are really going good. This last week we had stake conference and that was a real blessing. The stake president here is a really good guy. He was born on the streets and was baptized when he was 17. I also loved hearing our mission president's wife speak. She is learning Spanish but wow she really brings the spirit. I can't imagine how hard that is but wow she is such an example and gave really powerful talks.

Right now we are teaching this guy Luis Lopez. He is 57 and right now he is in the mountains cutting down avocados for his work. So sometimes it is hard to teach him because he isn't home. But he is doing well. We are hoping to baptize him this week, but he is still not sure about it. He really is a stud and one day on the bus we just invited him to church and the next Sunday we were shocked when he walked in.

Anyways we have transfers next week and I pretty much know that I will be leaving. I'm kinda sad because I love this place and we are really finally making progress with the ward. Really the whole thing about a mission is your attitude. We have a lot of converts who don't really want to visit with us right now. But every time we have a problem my companion and I just look at each other and say "What a Blessing." It is actually really helping us out. Anyways I love you guys. Have a great week.

Elder Wilkes


A God of Miracles

Dear Family,

Well it has been another week. Sounds like everything is going well.

Anyways we kinda had a regular week here in Guatemala. We had to go to the capital twice and that was not that fun. Because wow there are so many people there. When we go we have to leave at like 4 so that always makes a day interesting. Next week we have to go again for a conference with Elder Craig C. Christensen so that will actually be pretty fun. I am really excited for that.

Anyways pretty much any investigator we had fell this week so that was pretty sad. It really is just sad to watch people fall away from the gospel and its principles. Sometimes you just want to take the agency away from people but that wouldn't really make sense in the Plan of Salvation.

This week in church we had a very interesting sacrament meeting. It was done by the young women. Anyways in one part they had everyone repeat the young women theme. The other gringo in the ward and I were just like what on earth is going on. Really it can be so hard to not to get frustrated with the ward. It is really new and has no priesthood holders. But really we just have to look forward and help strengthen it while we are here.

One thing that I learned this week was just how patient we have to be in the work of the Lord. Everything is not an overnight process. Becoming a true disciple of Jesus Christ is a life time process. But really all of it is possible. I love 1 Nephi 17:51:

"And now, if the Lord has such great power, and has wrought so many miracles among the 
children of men, how is it that he cannot instruct me, that I should build a ship?"

We have to remember that God is a God of miracles and like Nephi says, why could he not instruct me to build a boat? Really that can be applied to anything. God can do anything, and if we submit ourselves to his will then anything is possible. The gospel is about progressing and moving forward every single day. Man I love you guys. Have a great week!

Elder Wilkes


Smile and Show Your Happiness

Dear Patojos,

Well I'm writing on Monday today. This morning we had interviews with President Markham and that was super good. He really is a powerful guy and really puts things in perspective. We are writing today because we are going to Antigua tomorrow for P-Day. Antigua is like the tourist place in Guatemala. Our cousin, Clark, was there a few months ago. He bought my zone leader an ice cream. Antigua is a good place, and there are a ton of gringos there so it's super weird. Also when we were waiting for interviews we watched Meet the Mormons. That was really a great piece of work.

Anyways things are going well here. We pretty much have just been contacting a lot. I really love knocking doors, because it seriously is so funny. We sing a lot of hymns to get in the door. My comp really sings his heart out and he is SO bad at singing so it just makes it all the better.

Yesterday we had two elders work with me and my companion. They are both going to finish their missions in two weeks. It was really so awesome. This guy I worked with (Elder Raudales) is crazy. But I had never felt the spirit so strong in my life. He has a love for the people that I never have seen in my life.

Lately I have been thinking a lot about happiness, and what it really is. Sometimes on a mission you seriously have no idea what you are doing and you just feel so dumb. Like honestly just walking around having no clue what to do. But really happiness is knowing that in times like this everything will be okay. happiness is knowing that everything will work its self out. Everyone just remember to smile all the time and show your happiness. Love you guys.

Elder Wilkes


Use Your Blessings to Help Others

Dear Family,

Alright Everybody, well it has been another week. Sounds like Cecelia made it home safely so that's awesome. Anyways things are going well down here. This last Saturday we baptized a family of 3. My other companion and I found them about a month ago knocking doors. The guy, Marco Antonio finally stopped playing soccer on Sunday, so that was a blessing. And also he ended up having a serious sin so it was a miracle that they got baptized. They still have a long ways to go, but hey we all do. Really sometimes I think it's so crazy how fast the area presidency wants us to baptize people. But in the end baptism really is just the door to enter in on the straight and narrow path.

Wow I can't think of anything to say today. We had a huge stake meeting on Sunday. The stake put a goal for this stake to have 44 baptisms every month in the year of 2015. It was a lot about how we can work more efficiently with the members. Really members are key in missionary work. Because we as missionaries are only members of these wards for such short periods of time.

We didn't do anything for the new year. Just had a regular day. The whole country was pretty much drunk the day after so that was a little tough. Really it is amazing how the church can be so strong here. There is such temptation. Beer is cheaper to buy then water and anyone at any age can by it...and that's just where it begins.

One experience that we had this week was we had been teaching a family that is unbelievably poor. they don't have water, light, or anything. the dad just drinks and it honestly is so hard to watch. One night we went there and the wife was just bawling, but we were able to help her feel a little love and that made it better. It really is so humbling to think that I have ever complained about anything. It really just makes me want to throw up. But really the blessings that we have should be used to help others. Love all of you. Please have some good clean fun.

Elder Wilkes