Monday, December 30, 2013

December 30, 2013

I looked at your pictures from Christmas, and I can´t believe that you had waffles!!!! That´s my favorite guys!!!! It´s fine though, I´ll just get some ice-cream later today.

Christmas Morning SKYPING with Elder Lovett

Best Christmas Present Ever!!


Elders Barnes & Lovett on Christmas morning 2013

I really enjoyed the different way that I celebrated Christmas here! It made me miss home a lot, even more when my comp only wanted to go home and sleep, because he only had 3 hours of sleep from the night before, so I got kind of sad. Something that I remembered, a principle that I found in Preach My Gospel, is that you don´t get homesick when you are really working. That brightened by spirits a lot, and made me feel much better being away from home.  Because I have a purpose and I know that there are people out there that I can help, if I just work hard finding them, and when I find them, tell them what they need to know, and help them learn the principles of the gospel so they will be faithful members for the rest of their lives.  My day was made a better when four other missionaries came to sleep over, it was pretty crazy!

A couple of days after Christmas we went to a city called Coatepeque for a multi-zone devotional with Presidente and Hermana Ruiz, they are such awesome people! Later every zone did a skit or talent o algo así (or something like that). They were really awesome and funny and stuff.  We even got to feast on an amazing lunch, that tasted so goooood!!! While there, we took a Preach My Gospel quiz to see how we are doing, and then later President would have a personal interview with us to discuss it. I was one of the missionaries that did pretty well, well enough to get a candy!!

Also I found out that Quinten L. Cook will be coming down to talk to us as multiple zones, I am supper exctited, I just can't wait!!!´I just hope that he doesn´t speah Spanish, fingers crossed. However I finally figured out how to understand Spanish. Before, I would listen and focus on a word I didn´t know.  By the time I figured it out I would be tottaly lost. But my trainer taught me just to keep listening and paying attenction.  That advice worked so well that I talked with Yulma's family for a couple of hours. I´m getting the courage to just ask questions, and things are really getting a lot easier for me to do. That just shows you that you can do anything when God is on your side. PS Challenging the Giants is a really good movie. For example, there was a gringo right next to the boarder that was a total jerk. He looked like one of those wanderer people in the movies, with a dog straped to his front. The misisonaries that talked to him saw how confused the natives were with him trying to talk with them due to his bad spanish, even though he had been doing that for ten years. One Elder said that his acent was even worse than mine, it was really funny.

My comp taught primary this past week, oh my goodness cute overload, it was so adorable, and I learned how you really teach to a five year old!!

Also I learned how to make the greatest bread in the world!!!!! We helped the ward councelor, who is also a baker, make bread in all sorts of cool ways.

Love you all!  I´m doing great, and I love advice from anyone on anything that would help me be a better missionary. I will pray for you Guys

Thanks for everything!

Love you, bye!!!


December 23, 2013

I love those pictures!!!!!! That is one of the funiest things that I have seen! Go missionary power!!! Go baptize all of London over there Rachel!

Elder Lovett came to the Formica Family Christmas Dinner, Sunday, December 22, 2013

And Sister Formica joined us as well, all the way from London England


It was so much fun having them "with" us at the dinner table!

We had our first baptism this Saturday!! A young 19 year old named Yulma. She was already being taught when I came, it was actually at her house that I had my first lesson with my trainer.  And since I was there when she learned most of everything, I´m taking credit for it:-) She is super cool, and totally knows that the gospel is true. She was even taking notes when we re-taught her the Plan of Salvation.
Her dad has been listening as well, but was not quite ready to be baptised, and her mom was a hard core catholic, that is until one time she left one of our lessons with a fake headache, and something told her to come back and listen.  So after much debating with herself she came back in. She didn´t like it, but she listened. The next time we came she felt the spirit, she didn´t know it, but she was trying to explain to us the feeling that she felt during our lesson. Last night we left them, Saúl, the dad, and Yulma Sr. the mom, knowing that they would get baptized as well, and all they had to do was pray on what date would be better for them. I´m so stocked for them!!!!!


This week the choir that the church put together from Guatemala performed. To be honest, I was excited to bring investigators, and to go to have some fun.  But I heard the people sing here, and I did not have very high expectationes. We started the program, and in total for our zone, we got about 77 references, which is really awesome because we personally got about 17. The choir started to perform and I was blown away! They really did well, it was like a Mormon Tabernacle Choir, a third the size, and not as talented, but really really good! It was so fun!
President Ruis even came, and taked to me and my companion personally afterwards. It was a little scary, but I´m glad we did it because I really did feel like he cared for me personally. Since he spent the night in a hotlel and we had our zone meeting the day after, he decided to come and share a message with us. Also there is an Elder that looks like a latino, who is actually from Oregon, and people always think that he learned Spanish first, and that is exactly what the President´s wife did when sharing a message about learning English. She called on him and asked him how he learned English.

So there are three reasons why this is the most powerful mission in the world. I won´t tell you what they are now, but I will soon. President has shared them with us twice now, and now is your time to guess.
Thanks for all your prayers support and love. I really enjoy getting these emails every week, and they keep encouraging me to work a little harder. I will see you guys this Christmas!!!! Merry Cristmas to all and to All good Night!! Love you!

December 16, 2013

This past week I had some pretty interesting goofs with the language. One was last night.  I tried to plan with my companion in spanish, and I threw out the I idea that we could buy eggs for breakfeast. Instead of eggs ¨huevos¨I used the word ¨huesos¨ (bones).  I also told him that we could go get them for "lunch". I didn`t mean to say lunch, and at this piont my comp was looking at me in a really confused way. I tried to fix it, so I said breakfest. He didn´t seem like he understood me any better. He asked me something like ¨What do they eat over there in California¨ He told me that I said to him that we should go and buy some bones for breakfeast, and we cleared that up. It was pretty funny.  However it was not the worst thing I said. My comp was doing my hair, just for the fun of it, and I needed to ask our neighbor for a comb. So I went over to them and I asked ¨Do you have a comb that I could taste¨ Woops, but it got worse later when I was telling that same story to a member. She started laughing before I finished telling the story.  I didn`t understand. Later we got to the house, and my comp explained to me that I did not say the word ¨peine¨ (pain) to the member. I said to the member a word that means a man`s ¨-¨ It was really bad, and pretty embarrassing.


We've tried to get Joe to put gel in his hair for 18 years, and all it takes is his companion to do it for us!  Thanks Elder Barnes!!

One of the Members this past week had a birthday, so we went over, saw her face get shoved into the cake and all, but the best part of that day was we ate Lasagna, and Strombolli! Oh My Gosh the food was soo good that day. I think we even reactivated that sister´s daughter, so that is really cool.

This Sunday one of our investigators came to Church for the fist time!! and it was also the Primary Program!!!!!! He was so amazed that these little kids could bear their testemonies so well. He totally felt the spirit, and I know he will get baptized soon. His daughter will actually be my first baptism on my mission!! So I know they will make good members.

Saturday was just a bad day. We didn`t plan the day before so we just walked around like zombies all day. Some cool things did happen that day, though. We made a ton of Christmas card to give out to people so we could invite them to church. And something funny we did, because we were so desperate to talk to someone, was ask someone if my comp could use their bathroom as a contact. It turns out that the house where we asked to use their bathroom was the mom of a member, and I´m pretty sure that we are going to go back to teach her, so that was pretty cool.

I even made some of my first contacts this week!! I was finally able to take up a challange my comp gave me to just stop someone and bear my testemony to them. You can`t mess up with that, so that is what I did, and it was SOOO COOOL!!!

We Bought a tree for Christmas and put our gifts under it, now it really feels like Christmas. Now I just need to find an ornament that I really like.

We gave some more service to the sister that does our laundrey. We went and replaced her old metal sheet ¨door¨ and put up I nice looking wooden door that is easier to use, and much nicer looking now.

 This is what they call "service"?  And they call themselves Eagle Scouts!!  Take away his Tote-n-Chip card!!

Just so you guys know, the church is true!  It gets hard here, but the people are so understanding, which is just something that I love about them. I love it here and thanks everyone for your prayers!!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

December 10, 2013

First P-Day and trip to Back to Guatemala City

Last week for P-day we went on the coolest trail and had the greatest time. What we did, was we got a call at 5:45 in the morning telling us that we were going to a waterfall all the way up in the mountains. It was so fun!  A lot of the Elders were telling me that I was so lucky to have this as my first P-day. It was the closest thing I could do to going swimming with all that water from this giant waterfall spraying us, and getting us all wet.
Photo: His companion and he on a P-day excursion.

Elder Lovett & Elder Barnes

Sorry for not being able to write you guys yesterday. We got a call on Saturday night from the Zone Leaders telling me that I had to go all the way up, back to the capital, the same 6 hour trip that I did a week before, to finish my visa to get residency. All they needed from me was a signature, and a photo. Well, to serve the Lord I'll do what He wants. So I left Sunday morning and came back home Monday night. Here in Guatemala they don't have a limit to the amount of people that they can fit on the bus. To them, they can always fit one more person. So for me it felt twice as paked as New York, and all I had was my little bitty spot to fit my two feet. Elder Rassmusen and I just looked at each other at one point and we just thought that this is crazy
It was really awesome when we got to the mission office in Reu (nick-name for Retalhuleu) because pretty much everyone that came in with us to the CCM was there talking about their missions, how crazy their living circumstances are.  And one of our guys is even learining Mum. Yep, Mum. Our trip to the capital was great because it was only us in a nice comfortable van, just talking for an entire day, almost completely about our missions.
We finally got to the capital and met two missionaris learning Kekchi, I don´t even know how it's spelled, or even pronounced, but it´s ancint, and cray. So we went to do our visa, spent thirty seconds doing it and we were done.
Just so you guys know Guatemala is a third world country, and things are diferent. I just wanted to let you know that. They drink a lot of their drinks out of a bag, a lot of the houses here don't have a floor, so we are really lucky to have what we have. Oh, and Dad, they don't speak Spanish here either, so I'm pretty sure that Swahili is a universal language. I was telling this to my companion when a drunk guy came up to us as said that he was a little drunk at the moment, but he knows that we are good guys. My companion, Elder Barnes turned and asked me if I understood the drunk guy, so I had to remind my comp that I did't understand by saying "He did't speak spanish remember" He laughed a bit when I told him that. The missionaries and the people do tell me, though, that my Spanish is really good for only being out for a week.
We Have a baptizmal date for this friday! Her name is Yulma and she is really cool, so now we just need to work on here family.
My companion tells me that I am Just like the missionary from best two years. He sees me studying my language, helps me try to pronounce the words correctly.  My first contact was in Enlish! And one time a man said, how are you doing, in Enlish.  I learned over to my companion and asked him, what did he say?
I will tell you guys, that I really love it here. I want to learn the languge as fast as I can and help as many people as possible to make their first covanant with the Lord; of baptism. I can tell that the time that I have here is short, so I really want to work as hard as I can. I'm still being trained so I don't know how to help them yet, so I get frustrated.  But I know that it will come with time. I can't believe that I am out here, and I cant wait to get to that point where I can just love the people!
Love you all, Have a great Chritmas season, and just have a good time. Thanks for all of your payers. 
Love You!!!

Friday, December 6, 2013


December 2, 2013

Elder Lovett Has Arrived In The Guatelama,

Retaluhuleu Mission

Watch Out Tecun Uman!

These past couple of weeks have been really exciting. We all had our last big training In the CCM right before we left.  The next day we got on our little tour bus and were off to Guatemala Retalhuleu! The ride there took maybe three and a half hours, and pretty much the entire time we could see a volcano. I think we saw three or four different volcanos our whole trip here.
Finally we arrived at the mission office, where we met President Ruis and his wife Hermana Ruiz. They are such a good couple of people! They are also really smart about missionary work, he really knows his stuff. We met him and the assistants, and the guys who worked in the office, and got "out in field" orientation. Then we ate our very first delicacy meal in the misison from Burger King. That soda, though, let me tell you tasted SO GOOD!.

President & Sister Ruis

Every once in a while I think of one of the quirky things you do dad. I never really thought about them before, but now I really miss some of them, especially the one where you sing at the most random parts of the day. Will you please send me a recording of Little Drummer Boy, I love that one for the same reasons as you.
I just want to let you konw that you don't have to tell me anymore to stay off of roofs. My companion was one of the three people who actually watched that missionary die. The truth is that there is a long story that goes with it. You don't need to worry because that simple won't happen to me.
Anyway. I don't have a lot of time but my "Dad" is Elder Barnes, and my area is Tecun Uman 2.
Love you!
Elder Lovett (Joe)

Tecun Uman

Tecun Uman (1500? – February 20, 1524) was one of the last rulers of the K'iche' Maya people, in the highlands of what is now Guatemala.
Tecun Uman was declared Guatemala's official national hero on March 22, 1960 and is commemorated on February 20, the popular anniversary of his death
From DadThis week Susan and I received some photos of Elder Lovett's CCM (Centro de Capacitacion Missional) district as well as the whole group of missionaries at the CCM.  There are two of each below, when he arrived and then a couple of weeks later in his stay there.


October 16, 2013

The day Elder Lovett Arrived in Gutemala City


October 30, 2013

A couple week into his stay at the CCM