Keq'chi is an indigenous language in Guatemala. There are 22 languages in Guatemala; the dominant language is Castellano (or Guatemalan Spanish), but the other 21 languages derive from Mayan and all sound like a mixture of Spanish and Russian. It's weird.
So, to bring you up to speed: We're working a lot more with the members. We realized that we needed to do this because every less active that we've talked to stopped going to Church because they had a problem with a member. If the ward can't retain new members, the work will never move forward. It's been interesting to shift our focus, because it opens us up more to the people who live here already, their concerns, what they need help with, and many many many other things.
One thing I've learned from Elder Flores is that we always need to be ready and able to help others. We've had at least one service activity every day this week. It's a lot of fun, because you learn a lot more about the culture, like the food they cook, they way they build their houses, and really little details like that. You also learn what you're good at and what you're bad at. (For example, I can chop wood a lot better than Elder Flores, but he's better at washing dishes.) It's also made the work a lot better, because when we serve, we go from being the annoying Mormons who knock on people's doors and talking to people on the street to people who are willing to make your life a little bit easier. And people really appreciate it. We always have to remember, everyone has their own different challenges, and sometimes, the weight of a day can be a little too much to bear alone. You never ever ever know who has trials, or who's living in a world of hurt. Whatever you can do to lift another's burden makes another person feel better.
I've been thinking a lot about what it means to be a Christian. As servants of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are supposed to take up our crosses (or deny ourselves of all ungodliness) and follow Him. I don't just say that because it's a scripture; I don't just say that because it's something that we missionaries say; I say it because it's true. When we follow Christ, we have to go where He himself went. He suffered all of our pains, He knew every one of our afflictions, and he paid the price for everything that we've ever done wrong. If we want to be Christians, we have to be willing to bear one another's burden, to mourn with those that mourn, and to comfort those that need comforting.
Go do something nice for someone else today. It makes a difference, even if you never see the results.
I love you! Than you for all your support!
--Elder Jeffrey Reed