Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Letter. . . Week 103. . . August 8, 2016. . .Last Week, MARIA, CRISTIAN and LEIDI get baptized

Hey! Wow I can't believe that this is my last real week of my mission! Time went by so fast but I couldn't have imagined ending it any better.

 So Sunday, 7/24 Maria Catarina and their kids all came to church and it was awesome! Monday, we went back to follow up with them. Man the devil is working so hard against Maria trying to convince her that what she is doing is wrong. I went with Elder Hill. We were teaching her and she told us '' I wanted you guys to come today because I wanted to tell you that I'm not going to be baptized. But during the discussion I've tried to say it a few times and every time I do I feel super sad. I know it's an answer from God and I just want you to know that I am going to be baptized next week because that's what makes me happy." We were ecstatic! She is so amazing and really just wants to do what is best for her family and herself. 

On a side note we brought some more missionaries to the office. Elder Moreno is our 4th companion and is going to be the new Assistant.  He's super tall and a great missionary. Also Elder Steiner is going to be the new financial secretary! The office is going to be completed power packed!

Tuesday, 7/26 Elder Moreno and Elder Kahl went to do interviews in Mazate Lincoln while me and Elder Hill put in registries at the office. Later we went to visit Hna Laura a recent convert. She doing really well. And then we to visit Maria. She is receiving a lot of opposition especially from her family and mom. 

Wednesday we worked all day on changes with President Goodman and his wife. He wanted it to be very processed and thorough. But for his first changes it was great. Then we had a family with the family Maldonado and Maria. So that was really good. While Elder Hill and Elder Kahl went with President Goodman to visit Mario.
Thursday.  Me and Elder Moreno went to San Felipe to help that zone out with some interviews and such.  We got totally soaked. I don't know if I've had such a hard rain like that in all my mission. Then we picked up the mini missionary to bring him home.

Friday. I had my final interview with President Goodman. It was really good. He encouraged me to marry someone better than me and to always have something to start and end the day with in college. Then we had to run to Coatepeque to pick up and Elder who was having some heart problems. I got to see Carolina, Belinda and Aroldo! So that was awesome. We made it back for a dinner that Maria had invited us to. It was great! Cristian when he saw us ran up and as excited as could be said "elders! Only 20 hours more till my baptism!" He really was super excited.

Saturday. We had the baptism. We bought all of the white clothes in the morning and then we got everything set up for the baptism. It was a great baptism. They were all so excited to be clean of everything. It's insane to me that the way we found them was by someone giving us a reference and we never found who they sent us to look for. But we did find who the Lord wanted us to find.

Sunday 7/31 My last Sunday in Guatemala.. It was great. Carolina came to church to see.  Leidy, Maria and Cristian get confirmed. I said goodbye to a lot of people and we ate for the last time at Herber and Eiset's house. Then we went to say goodbye to Maria and their family. Because me and Elder Hill on Monday had to go to San Marcos and we wouldn't be able to pass by again. It was so hard. I love that family so much and pray that they will always continue in the gospel. 

Monday 8/1 we went to Malacatan to bring everyone's bags from there and San Marcos. It was a long drive.

Tuesday we went as a group to the temple.
We welcomed all of the new missionaries off the bus and then we got on on one to go to the temple. In the temple I wasn't sure what to ask or say to my Heavenly Father.   President Goodman in my interview had already told me that The Lord had accepted my offering and I felt the spirit testify to me that He had. But even though I didn't know why I was there The Lord did. I didn't realize it before but I was extremely sad and heartsick to be leaving my family here in Guatemala. But going to the temple The Lord gave me that comfort and peace about coming home.

Then we had pizza and ice cream in President Goodman's house.

Wednesday changes happens and we got the bus for Guatemala and stayed in an apartment.
Thursday at 3:30 am we were at the airport where a hurricane delayed our flight till around 10:30.  

Three flights later I arrived around midnight to Montana to see my family for the first time in 2 years. I could feel their love and support. It was the greatest experience of my life. 

I know the church is true. This gospel is The Lord's Gospel. This is His work. I love my Savior and this missionary work. I wouldn't have traded these last two years for anything in the world.

Elder Pugmire 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Letter. . .Week 102. . .7/25/16. . . Interviews in Malacatan and preparing for miracles

Life is good. I love being a missionary! But honestly today is the day where I have 0 desire to write home. This might be the last time I write seeing that next week we might have to be driving around the mission to pick up the bags of everyone. So here's a quick update about what happened this week

Monday (7/18/16) after I got done writing we went with Maria to do the interview and put the fecha! We went with our studly District Leader, Elder Gonzalez and Maria and her daughter are going to get baptized next week!!!

Tuesday, we had interviews here in Las Palmas! We just helped out and then we had a meeting with President to discuss some changes that needed to happen before the changes. We were going to go and visit some investigators with President and his wife, but this meeting needed to happen so we just put the visits for another day.

Las Brasas! The best pan shop on the planet!
Wednesday MALACATAN!!! So we headed out early and we went to Malacatan! We had all of the interviews and we went to revise all of the houses. Then we went and stayed in the hotel for the night after going out with Hermana Goodman to buy some things the Elders of Coatepeque needed for Thursday. Everyone thought we were her kids. So we just started calling her Mom. She loves it! She makes some good cookies and honestly she is so sweet!
Out in the rain with the Mission President

Us and the mini missionary Hermano Guzman

Me with the House keys from Malacatan!

Us three assistants and "Mama Goodman"

Thursday, we noticed that the hotel we were at had an amazing view and we picked up Elder Zarate to take him to his new area. After that we had the interviews in Coatepeque. We did some more house checks and then we raced home to go and talk to Maria! We talked to another family that was pretty cool too so we're going to keep working with them! We're committed them to coming to church Sunday and then we headed out.

With Elder Kahl and Elder Hill

The amazing view from the Hotel!

Friday, Me and Elder Kahl worked in our area all day and we  had to go and do some stuff in the office. Maria is so awesome! She lives by herself with 3 kids and her husband is in the states. She says that she was praying and one night she had a dream where she received a white blouse and the lady that gave it to her in the dream told her to used it! So we talked to her about how we use white clothing to baptize and we explained why. She was so happy and is firm in her decision to get baptized!
We got our suits ordered. Elder Gutierrez getting all measured up.

La Luna Hamburgers! It was delicious!

Me and Elder Kahl by one of the millions of corner stores.

Saturday We had a meeting almost all day with District Conference where the Goal of Attendance was 200 but there ended up being 280 PEOPLE!! Even the Mayor of San Marcos and all his family came!!! They had over 50 investigators there as well! We're hoping to divide the District and make it into a Stake in the next year and this conference was a big step! After lunch I went to El Codo to do some interviews for baptism! It was pretty cool because one of the Girls was a girl that I had taught when I was there! Then we saw Hermana Gloria and her Family and I got to say goodbye to them! Man! I love that family so much!!! I'm going to miss them a ton!
For our office meeting Saturday Mama Goodman made us Brownies! We brought the ice cream and it was divine!
The Hermanas from San Carlos had some baptism we helped at!

Last photos with the Monzon Family!

Elder Hill and his Huipil

Anyway there's work to do! 

Love you all!
Elder Pugmire 

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Letter. . .Week 101. . .7/19/16. . .Miracles continue to happen! Carlos, Interviews with the missionaries

Letter. . .Week 100. . .7/11/16. . .Welcoming President Goodman, Huipil Mountains and Ziplining

Wow! What a week! How does time go by so fast! This week we were really busy! We had our trip around the mission with President and Hermana Goodman! We started it out here in Las Palmas on Tuesday. We had an awesome meeting! Presidente and Hermana Goodman are sooooo funny! They have 5 kids, 4 sons that are married and an adopted daughter! President told some funny storries about how he and his wife met and how he water skiied down a ditch behind a pick up truck and taking a road trip to Guatemala with his brothers in the back of a pick up truck. Sleeping on the side of the road every night. Hermana Goodman made a cookie for every missionary! She is so sweet and all of the missionaries love her to death already. We learned from President that we are going to focus on 4 things in our mission.
1. Jesus Christ. Which is something that we have really been trying to do as a mission.
2. The Mission Manuel. We are working on being exactly obedient to the mission rules.
3. Preach My Gospel and Preach it by the spirit. We will be a Preach my Gospel Mission.
4. The Book of Mormon and The Spirit. The greatest combination and tool we have as missionaries.

We got to go work in our area after that and we went back with Mario. He's the Dad of a reference that we got from President Ruiz. Sergio, the son of Mario, was friends with President Ruiz's daughter Cristal. He told us that he was very Catholic but after our first lesson he commited to pray and ask God what His will was for him.

When we got back for our second lesson he told us it was not his intention to change his religion and that he didn't want to be baptized. We just talked to him as a friend and by the end of our lesson he told us ''you are the missionaries that have most convinced me to pray and ask and I promise you that I will ask God before you leave. If I get an answer I will do what The Lord wants me to do.'' We were so happy! But we know that we really have nothing to do with it. Mario has had a bunch of missionaries pass by and teach him. But for some reason this was the time when The Spirit testified to him in a way that he could start to sense the truth of our message. He was going to come to our activity on Saturday with his family but a conflict came up and he didn't end up coming.

Wednesday, we went to Mazate and we had the same meeting. We went to Mazate and then to Don Carlos to celebrate Elder Hills Birthday! We have had a ton of birthdays these past couple weeks: Me Elder Rock, Hill, Perez and Elder Kahl! We went and worked in our area where we found an awesome lady named Maria! She told us she'd come to church but her nephew got sick, so she missed Sacrament Meeting. However we left after Sacrament Meeting and Found her and we brought her to church and gave her the tour of the church. She loved it and her kids really want to come next week! Wednesday night we Brought Elder Hill to our house to eat cake with us.
Me and Elder Taylor

Your classic grass hut in the mountains.

Me, Elder Kahl, Elder Perez and Elder Hill

Thursday, we were going to have a meeting in Malacatan but we got to Pajapita and we got right to the front of a roadblock. We spent 3 hours waiting and trying to find a way around it with out any luck so we just postponed it till Friday. So then we returned home and we got to work in our area again! It feels so good to go and get out to work in our area! I love just being a normal missionary. It's something that President has wanted us to do more of. Its been great! But I feel like the Zones have been suffering a little bit. So we're planning on going to help the Zones all next week.

Friday, we started bright and early to drive to San Lorenzo, where we presented the Presidente Rodas to Presidente Goodman. We had to show Pres. how the roads were so he can voice his opinion about how the should divide our Mission and Stake. There are a lot of thoughts about dividing them. Some ideas seem great on maps but just driving the roads you'll see divisions don't work.

Coming down from Serchil we gave a surprize to Presidente and his wife. We stopped by a family of members and showed them their weaving loom to make huipil. They were weaving huipil (or a hand woven fabric) and when we told Hermana Goodman that it was our gift to them she started crying. We paid the family to make it for the Goodmans. We also ordered some for ourselves. Its incredible how beautiful a piece of cloth can be! I ordered 3 more so I'm excited to see how they turned out.

Presidente y Hermana Goodman by the Huipil machine!

Photos with the branch presidents Family in the mountains (Serchil)

THE MILPA!!!! (corn)

Me and elder Kahl in the Elevator
Editor's note: The above picture of Scotty  reminded me of this picture of my Grandfather Jay McNiven

Then we went to have the meet the President meeting in San Marcos and Malacatan. Then we ate in Romax in Coatepeque and got home late. WE WERE EXAUSTED! My Comp is a stud! he drove the whole way! It was only 275 kilometers but it took us alllll day!

Saturday was buys we had our meeting with President and then organized and executed our Ward Activity! We talked about the Tree of life and Lehi's dream. Then we had all the members follow the ´´iron rod´´ we had set up through the church avoiding obstacles. Then as a fun activity we played Hungry Human Hippos. We used those little elementary scooters (with a board and 4 wheels) and rope and our laundry baskets and we had three teams trying to get as many balloons as possible! Some of the members were calling it ''the best activity the ward has ever had'' we had one investigator come! So that was awesome!

Photos of our ward activity and Elder Kahl Charging his phone.

Sunday, was a great day of Church more meetings with President to plan the interveiws next week and we got to meet with Alejando. A joven who is super smart and has like 2 companies! But he also is looking for the true church! HE LOVES TO TALK!!!

Life is so good! Every day seems to go faster and faster! We're trying to live our time to the fullest!

Love you all!

Elder Pugmire

CANOPY!!!!! With Elder Adams, Elder Elggren, Elder Hill, Elder Preciado, Elder Kahl and Elder Perez