January 30, 2014

Letting Go Of Fear

I was watching a show the other day where one of the characters asked what does fear stand for?  She followed by saying "fear stands for False Evidence Appearing Real." I thought about this and came to the conclusion that I completely agree. When we fear where does that fear come from?  It comes from us taking a situation and convincing ourselves that it is going to happen to us causing us to believe that it is real, leading us to fear. 

There have been so many times where I have feared or worried about something happening to me or my family.  I have a big imagination so the littlest thing can set me off and cause me to fear so much that it becomes overwhelming...if I let it.  That's the thing, fear can only control us if we let it. 

When we were preparing to move down here we had a lot of worry and fear in our hearts.  It took a lot of preparation mentally, emotionally and spiritually for us to pick up and move away from the life that we were so comfortable with.  Now that we are here we can see that that preparation has been a success.  It doesn't mean that we don't fear or don't worry, we're human it's only natural. But when I do worry or am afraid I remember that I have some great gifts that have helped me to overcome that fear. 

I have the incredible gift of the Holy Ghost to lead and guide me everyday, to help me make decisions and to help me find peace and comfort.  Knowing that my Heavenly Father is speaking to me through the Holy Ghost is a great blessing and brings so much peace.  Another great gift that I have been given is the gift of a worthy priesthood holder as my husband.  It brings great comfort to know that he presides in our home and brings about safety and protection through that priesthood power,

I'm not sharing this, because I'm afraid. In fact I feel safer here then I ever did in the states.  I'm sharing this, because there is no need to fear.  Life is tough.  We have to go through hard trials.  But that's life.  We get up, we keep trying and we move forward without fear and by doing that we find peace.  Living in this beautiful place,  I can't see what I was so afraid of.  The only thing I was afraid of was the unknown.  Faith is the opposite of fear and the lord never wants us to fear, he wants us to trust and have faith in him. 

I decided about a week after we got here that I was not going to let Satan get the best of me and I was not going to fear anymore.  Of course it will take work and patience, but in not fearing I am able to talk to people, I am able to serve, I am able to go out and have more adventures then I ever could have imagined.

January 22, 2014

A Lesson In Learning

I've always understood that it is important to gain an education.  The prophets have told us that it is important to "gain as much education as possible." Watching the handy man that works here and the children who go to school, you see that education is taken for granted almost everywhere you go. 

In the U.S. we go to school for 8 hours a day, come home, do homework and do it all again tomorrow.  After graduating high school we enroll in college to learn even more.  Here in Guatemala, the kids go to school for 4 hours a day just to go, come home and go to work. They don't have any homework and they aren't really going anywhere in life.  It's almost unlikely that they would even see the point in going to college. 

To me that phrase "gain as much education as possible," is important for everyone, but being in a third world country I'm noticing just how important that phrase is especially for these people.  The handyman who works at the hotel has no desire to learn.  JC is consistently teaching him new skills that he could use in his daily life, but doesn't really care or see the need for it.  He just does what he has always done and to him that is good enough. 

It's hard watching these kids grow up without that understanding of the importance of learning.  I've always loved learning. Learning makes you feel good about yourself and helps you to see your potential. What is there to do in this life if you didn't learn and grow and apply what you learn into your life?

The gift of learning is a very precious gift.  I'm so grateful I've taken the time to gain an education and learn as much as I can.  Just being here is a big learning experience for me.  What a blessing it is to learn.  :)

January 19, 2014

There Is A Place

Living here in Guatemala has really opened my eyes to the great blessings that I have had in my life.  I've always lived so close to a temple. You didn't have to drive far, just up the street.  We've always had plenty of food, we were spoiled with electronics, a dishwasher, a washer and dryer, the list goes on and on.  I'm feeling very humbled to be here. 

In Relief Society today we watched a video.  I wasn't for sure what was being said, but the temple was in the background.  I was thinking about all the great blessings that we have been given.  I have always tried to be grateful for the temple by going often, but I have a new found gratitude for the temple having it be so far away.  Not having everything be so close and not having the gospel be so common around us, I have had a great desire to seek peace, comfort and just plain spirituality.  I have wanted to "feast" upon the scriptures and to listen to the words of the prophets more and more.  Something about not having it all so close by draws you closer despite the distance.  It's hard to explain.  I just wanted to share these thoughts with you and I hope that it helps you to recognize the great blessings that you have in your life. 

This week I was thinking to myself almost all day everyday, why am I here?  What is it that I could possibly do here to make a difference?  I can't speak the language and I don't really have anyone I can talk to. I was sitting in church and it hit me.  I may not be able to speak the language right now, but with time and practice I can come to really love and make this place my home.  I don't have a for sure answer to what I am suppose to be doing here, but I do know that this place has some amazing people.  I can see it in so many eyes of the people I talk to/listen to.  They have a lot of love despite the cultural tendencies.  I realized that I do have a place here.

With all this being a little scattered, basically I have come to see that you can be close even when you feel so far away.  You can draw closer to family, to friends, but most of all you can draw nearer to our Savior, Jesus Christ.  No matter how close or how far you are, you can come closer to him. You can learn to love and you can come to recognize that you do have a place here, not matter where you are.

January 15, 2014

A New Chapter

Hola, from the wonderful land of Guatemala! I'm excited to start writing about my adventures here in the beautiful city of Panachachel and keep you up to date on what is going on with us. :)

One thing I have already learned in the week and a half that I have been here, is that the culture here is polar opposite from the culture of the United States.  Do you remember the phrase from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf that says "it would do us well to take time to slow down a little?" Well, the people of Guatemala certainly have gotten that down...maybe even too well.  It is a very slow culture where the major plans of the day are to do laundry or make dinner.  When walking down the street I am probably the only one rushing to my destination just like us good ol' Americans.  Maybe I should learn a few lessons from these people. :)

Anyway, it's a very beautiful place and we have been engulfed in the beautiful language as well.  There is no room for not trying to learn the language. Even blogger decided to make it impossible for me to switch back to English. It is a lifestyle that will take a little getting use to, but I'm sure I will come to love.

We have met a lot of great people already.  Some understand what we are saying others just nod their heads, smile and laugh and move on their way, but they are sweet people overall.  When walking down the street there isn't a person who won't say hola to you. Sometimes they are saying hello just to be friendly other times they say hello and then try to sell you something.  It helps that we don't speak the language quite yet. ;)

Emree is having a blast playing with Bailey (JC and Allie's dog). Bailey loves Emree as well so they make a pretty cute pair.  We live a one room apartment called a bungalo.  Picture a master bedroom with a kitchen, two queen sized beds and a bathroom. That is our home for right now.  Emree had a hard time sleeping for a while there.  She doesn't have a crib or her own room for the first time in her life so she has struggled, but JC (my brother-in-law) and Travis, being the creative men that they are built Emree her own queen sized crib.  It was definitely a blessing!

Overall, this place has a welcoming feel to it.  I feel a little out of place being so far away from the life I am use to, but I have seen so many great blessings that have come from working so hard to get here. I don't know what the lord has in store for us, but I am truly grateful for the blessing it is to have this opportunity to be here.



P.S.     Pictures to come. (Probably on Facebook)