Monday, December 29, 2014


     Well I already pretty much told you about my Christmas but I guess Ill do it again because that's pretty much all that happened here this week. We couldn't really do much of anything the 24th or the 25th because nobody was going to want to receive us either of those days.   We spent most the day at the house of the president helping them prepare for Christmas by preparing food and washing dishes and all that sort of fun stuff. We also visited a bunch of members and they all gave us a ton of food. I ate more sandwiches than I could count and though I was going to throw up by the end of the night.  I was so full. At midnight on the 24th everyone shot off fireworks. We went up on our roof to watch them and it was so cool. There were fireworks going off in the sky where ever you looked and it sounded like we were in a war zone with all the firecrackers going off. Christmas was a pretty good day, obviously there wasn't much we could do because everyone was either sleeping or super drunk. We played a lot of uno and visited a recent convert to celebrate a birthday with them. Talking to you guys was fantastic and I only cried when I bore my testimony, which is going pretty good if I do say so myself.
      On Friday, we had divisions with the district leader because the other elders needed interviews done. I stayed in the area and it was a pretty rough day but hey it happens. Sunday we had zero percent retention again and I don't know what we can do because the recent converts that have testimonies can't come to church because of work or brand new babies and the rest don't have testimonies and in all honesty should not have been baptized but what ever.

     I didn't give any gifts only shared everything I got with my comp and the other missionaries. As for gifts received we all got socks from the family we eat with and then all the food from the other people. New Years is going to be a lot like Christmas everyone is going to party and stay out super late the 31st and then most of them will be super drunk the 1st or sleeping all day so its going to be a little hard to get lessons and all that jazz.  The coolest tradition was easily the fireworks at midnight, there aren't any restrictions here so there were some pretty sweet fireworks. 

     Google translate very rarely works correctly. Hermana Caffaro always uses it to send the Latinos messages for their birthdays and stuff and the messages are almost always messed up but still understandable. Anyway Roxana was very happy to receive that message from you and showed it to me and everything. Some sad news is that Hermana Roxana is feeling a little stressed lately so she is going to take a break from cooking for us and we have to find a new place to eat before the 1st which is going to prove a little bit difficult. I hope you guys enjoy your break and get lots of skiing in for me. Love you all a ton. Love Connor

                                                       Helping prepare dinner
                                                       With Elder Prestwich

              This is with Sister de Ruano who was cooking for them and Elder Simoni

Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas (and lot's of pictures)

Whoo what a week.  Okay this week was even crazier than last week but all fun stuff so dont worry.  First, we did a service project on Tuesday. So what we did is as a zone we went to an old people's home and played games with them and put up a Christmas tree and sang songs and did talents and all that sort of fun stuff. Some of the old people were super funny and it was a great service project. We also had to get them a gift and that was pretty hard because I have no clue what you could get an old person that can't do or eat anything. It was very hard but we did it somehow.  Wednesday, we had our zone conference with the president and some other dude.  They talked to us about all sorts of stuff they want us to do to have more success and so I've been trying to put that into practice this week. After they talked to us, we watched a movie, the work and the glory, It was a pretty good movie and I liked it a lot but we all wanted to watch meet the mormons but I guess president couldn't get a copy to show to us. After the movie we had an awesome lunch.   I think It was made by the people who cook all the food for the CCM. After that we listened to president again.  He talked about the love of Christ and It was an awesome talk. Then we watched a video that he had made with all of us in it and a silly video of him and sister caffaro dancing. Thursday and Friday were pretty normal. Thursday we gave service cleaning the ceilings of one of the members.Friday nothing fun happened. 
     Then Saturday was the ward activity and that was easily the highlight of the week. They went to the volcano Ipala which is this lake in the cone of a volcano and as you can see from the pictures its amazingly beautiful. We were really lucky we could go because its not in our mission but president gave us permission and it was amazing. As you can probably tell I spent most of my time with Elder Prestwitch because our comps were being party poopers, so we did a lot of stuff together. The picture of the rock is when we went to the rock of love together, cute right? After that we just hiked around the lake and found this cool platform that overlooked the entire valley and took awesome pictures there. Then after lunch we just hung our with all the members and converts on the bank of the lake. It was awesome and pretty much another p-day.
      Okay to answer your questions I do think Ill leave the area this next change because president usually doesn't leave people in one area too long. I only took out the stocking and the tree and have no clue what the rest of it is. I share all the candy with the kids and the other missionaries.   I haven't gotten the package form the Turners yet but I assume I'll get it today . In Guatemala, they celebrate more on the 24th than on the 25th and at midnight on the 24th they all shoot off fireworks.   I've heard its really cool and can't wait to see it. Well that's all for this week talk to you guys Thursday. Love you all Love Connor. 

                                                      at the old folk's home
                                             with President and Sister Caffaro
                                                      Elder Simoni Elder Solorzano

                                                                 Ward Members
                                                             Elder Prestwich

                                             Elder Solorzano Elder Prestwich Elder Simoni

                                                              love rock

Monday, December 15, 2014

Changes = sleepwalking companion

     This week was super crazy. So remember how last week I told you about how neither me or Elder Mann had changes?   Ya well that all changed Monday night. At 7 pm, the zone leaders called us and said that Elder Mann was going to have changes because some other companionship had problems that day. So we spent a couple of hours running around saying goodbye to as many members as we could. Then he had to pack which took a couple of hours and I decided I would stay up with him so I went to bed at like 12 am. Tuesday,  we woke up at 2:45 to make the 4 a.m. bus. The bus got to the capital much faster than we expected it to, so we got to hang out in the chapel where they do the changes for about 4 hours.   This was fun because we got to spend some time with the mission president and see  all the other missionaries as they got there. I got to see a bunch of kids from my CCM group which was fun. My new comp is from El Salvador and has 10 months in the mission. His name is Elder Simoni and I think we'll get along well. The fact that Elder Mann left means that right now I'm in charge of showing the area which has been very stressful, but its been a really good week.
      We had a ton of lessons and placed two fechas. I know its all thanks to the lord. Bob came to church again and so he's looking really good to be baptized the 27th. Deepest thoughts of the week was when we were walking home from dinner and talking about some pretty profound doctrine that is super secret and can't be talked about over email. No practical jokes but my new comp does sleep walk and I've woken up twice this week because he was either talking really loud or he's shaking me, so its pretty much like sharing a room with Chase again. We have quite a few investigators progressing which is always good. Love you all and can't wait to talk with you soon. I hope you're having a great Christmas. Love Connor
                           Elder Solorzano, Elder Warth, Elder Mann and Elder Wallace
                                                         Last day with Elder Mann
                                                              Awesome Christmas decor

Monday, December 8, 2014

Fantastic Week

     It has been a fantastic week and I have so much to tell you guys. First off, we finally had some investigators in church which was so nice after not having any for so long. We had 6 investigators come which is a crazy high amount.I think God was just testing our faith and since we proved faithful he decided to bless us. Right now we have 2 baptism fechas but are going to place many more this week. One of the guys we have a fecha with is named Jose but I call him Bob because hes got dreads down past his butt. He's like 50 and super weird but he always reads the pamphlets and remembers everything. He went to church with us this week and we got a lot of really weird looks from the members when we walked in. The other fecha is a guy named Santos.   He's a little bit slower but I think he can make it. The other awesome investigator that we had in church is the husband of a member.   We contacted her on the street and she told us she was baptized in El Salvador and moved here 4 months ago. We taught her family one time and I didn't expect either of them to come to church but they both showed up and then they came to the Christmas devotional too. It was amazing.   The guy has a drinking problem which is super common here in Guatemala. 
     I don't know if you guys have seen the He is the Gift video that the church has made but if you haven't you have to watch it. They're making us use it in our contacts and we're watching it with our investigators and members. The Church has put a ton of money into this, it's playing 24/7 in time square and it was the main video on Youtube yesterday.  It's super powerful and I've watched it like 20 times. I got a Christmas package from Grandma and the Mikesells this week which means I now have four. I already opened Grandmas because I was curious about the shirt which you will see in the pictures. Changes are Wednesday but neither me or my comp is having changes so we have at least 6 more weeks together and then I think he'll probably leave.
      Anyway its been a fantastic week and I haven't been cold this week at all, so that's good and don't worry about sending me a sweater.   I can buy one here if I need it. All the clothing stores are second hand US stuff anyway. .Strangest thing I saw was probably this tradition they have in Guatemala where they all burn Devil pinatas on the 7th of December.  My favorite spiritual moment was Sunday in fast and testimony meeting. One of the members is getting sealed next Saturyday and she got up and talked about that and it was super spiritual.   Love you all and hope your having lots of fun. Love Connor

                                              Sweet gifts from Grandma and Grandpa

Monday, December 1, 2014


    This week has been pretty frustrating. We are teaching tons of lessons, like over thirty a week, which is the best of our district if not the zone but we have almost 0 progressing investigators. We have one that loves to read the Book of Mormon and everything, but she won't come to church or accept a baptism fecha. Other than that, we don't have anybody progressing and we don't know what we need to do differently to find people who will accept us.  To answer the questions, Yes the lady from last week is the ward mission leader's wife. For snacks, I usually buy a little pack of cookies that cost 1Q, which is super cheap.  The snacks that are made here in Central America are super cheap, which is awesome because they taste really good too. Funniest thing that happened this week was when we were going back from lunch this drunk guy started talking to us. He's the neighbor of the other missionaries and one of the other missionaries is really quiet and doesn't talk much, so the guy kept asking him if he was gay. The elder was super upset but he got over it. The drunk people here are kind of scary. You never know what they're going to do and they always want to talk to the gringos. People are always drunk here too. I don't know where they get the money to drink so much but I do know if they don't have enough money to buy real alcohol they just buy rubbing alcohol and drink that, which is really sad. There aren't any sisters in our area, there are two in our zone but their area is super far away from us. The weather this week week was not fun. It was super windy and it blew dust everywhere. There was always dust in my eyes and at night I got really cold which was terrible. It hardly ever rains anymore which is good and bad I guess.   love you all talk with you soon.  Hey I got the Christmas package you sent this week which was fun because I got it exactly one month before Christmas.   Love connor  

Monday, November 24, 2014


     This has been a pretty good week. Monday we went to Jutiapa again to play futbol
with the other missionaries and members. We were actually planning on playing
basketball but then all the Latinos started playing soccer so we had to play that for
awhile. For the most part the Latinos kill us in soccer because we play on a team full
of Gringos. We did play a little bit of basketball though and we were able to repay
them because all the Latinos are terrible at basketball.   Some of them are pretty good
 at dribbling and ball handling but when it comes to shooting they're all terrible. So we
killed them like 40 to 0 which was pretty fun.
     Tuesday was super stressful because we had divisions with the zone leaders and
it was the first time I had to stay in our area and Elder Mann left. I was super nervous
because obviously I was now in charge of the area and with a Elder from Nicaragua who
speaks very little English. There was no need to be nervous though, our zone leaders
are super chill and we had a really good day. Other than that nothing really happened
this week. We almost had more divisions with the district leader which would have
meant that I would have stayed in our area with elder  which would have been bad
 because I probably would have ended up killing him. Other than that we set a fecha
(lesson) with a guy named Nerry this week. He seems like he wants to get baptized
but wants an answer from the Lord first which is fine by me. Its going to be hard to
teach him though because he works everyday but Sunday.

     For Christmas I'm not sure what will end up happening. I want to skype you guys but
I'm not sure I'll be able to. I do know that we will be able to talk for an hour but thats
about it. My feet don't hurt very often sometimes when we've been standing for a long
time. They hurt a little bit but its really not very much. I drink a ton of juice. They make
juice for every meal and its soooo good. I drink a ton of it at lunch and dinner. I drink
soda sometimes, A ton of people drink coke here and fanta too, Then there are a
bunch of sodas made in Guatemala, which are really cheap. Favorite scripture is the
last verse of Matthew, its really good. I don't think I'll need a jacket. Its been super hot
again this week so I've been melting again. Our gospel principles class this week was
on the gathering of Israel which was interesting and I learned quite a bit there. I have
plenty of money I mostly spend it on transportation and breakfast but sometimes I'll buy
snacks and stuff too.  Love Connor

Monday, November 17, 2014

Interesting Week

Okay so I know I've gained a little weight but did you really have to send me an XL Aggie shirt. I'm not that fat!!!

     This week has turned out to be pretty darn interesting. It started off with an pretty normal day Tuesday. I don't think anything happened that day. But then Wednesday is when things started getting interesting. I had to go on divisions again so that we could have the interview for Alejandra. It was the biggest waste of time. We went to this tiny little town and we were there for 3 hours had one lesson and 0 contacts.  The next interesting thing that happened was Thursday.   We were in this house of Evangelivos and asked if any of them could offer the closing prayer. This one lady said she would and then went around blessing every single person there like touching their heads and then putting her hands all over their bodies. It was so weird and she tried to touch me but she had her eyes closed so it was easy to avoid her. Then on Sunday our lunch was an entire fish, which freaked me out a little but I ate everything but the brain and eyes, I just couldn't do that but i did eat the guts. We had our baptism Saturday, which was good she had to be baptized twice because she came out of the water and her husband said the prayer wrong. The other missionaries had a baptism too and they had to baptism her like 7 times because her dress kept coming out of the water. 

     I got a letter from you this week mom, it was pretty old though. I think you wrote it the 30 of September.  My companion is great, we get along really well except for the fact that hes a BYU fan but what ever. There are too many tender mercies to count.  The temperature going down is probably the biggest one though. Last P-day we went to Jutiapa and played soccer with a bunch of members and other missionaries. We also went to Wendy's and a place called Mega Paca which is pretty much D.I. and we're pretty sure they do get most their clothes form DIs in the Utah because we found a ton of BYU, Utah, and USU shirts there along with shirts form High Schools in Utah. 

     We're going to Jutiapa again but we're playing basketball today. Basketball is fun mostly because the Latinos are terrible, so we destroy it. The other elders are our entire zone Yes, I know how much you love me and we can only listen to hymns and mo-tab which is a new rule that the president just put in.  He's a lot more strict than the last president from what I've heard.
     I'ts been a fantastic time and I love being here. The Spanish is much better.  I had to give a talk yesterday with 0 notice and 0 time to prepare and was able to give about a 5 minute talk on faith that was pretty good. I love you guys so much and hope things are going well and that you're enjoying the snow. The weather is amazing here. Connor

                                               The lady is Alejandra and her husband Willian

                                              Elder Mann Willian Alejandra 
                                                        This is the fish I had to eat.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Trip to El Salvador border

      Mom I did get your package this week which was awesome. Thank you for the life time supply of peanut butter but I don't really have anything to eat it with so don't send me anymore until I ask for it please. The candy was fantastic and I loved it. I shared all of it with my comp and the Utah State shirt was the best part. I've been meaning to ask you for one but it looks like you know me pretty well so Ï didn't have too. While I'm thinking about i,t if you could still send it, I could use a water proof bag to put my scriptures in so they wont get ruined. 

     To answer your questions first, its not raining nearly as much. I don't think its rained in a week, which is really nice. The people here are really nice.   Right now we have a couple investigators we're really working with. One is an English teacher, so he really likes to talk with us in English which I'm not going to complain about. The other has a baptism date for the 29th and lives clear out in the middle of nowhere but shes really nice. The other is named ? We don't know what to think. She's not sure she wants to be baptized but then she came to church on Sunday, so we don't really know whats going on there. The people here are really nice. Almost everyone is willing to talk to us because we're teaching the word of God so they'll listen. That's probably the hardest thing here, everyone just says there's one God and it doesn't matter what church you go to as long as you believe in him. Its a pain. Bearing testimony isn't too bad because its one of the first things we learned how to do in the CCM so I'm pretty good at it by now.  
     Breakfast this week was cereal every day. Sundays are just like every other day. We leave and pick people up for church. Then we go to church, study for an hour after, go to lunch and then work like any other day. My favorite person is this convert named Marcos. He got baptized like 2 weeks ago but he's amazing. He always has a ton of references for us and he practically teaches the gospel doctrine class. Our miracle of the week was thanks to him too. Yesterday we were just walking around contacting people and he called us and said he wanted us to come teach someone in his family, the cousin of his wife I think. Anyway we went and she's super promising because she had been taking lessons from missionaries in the US and then had to move back here and now were going to teach her and I'm sure she'll get baptized soon. 

     Weird culture thing is that they're already listening to Christmas music here. They don't have a holiday between Christmas and Halloween so they just jump right in.  Dad, I read a lot and only read the BOM and PMG in Spanish. Everything is going well here, mom I don't have a stove just a hot plate. I love you and hope everything is going well and it snows soon. Love Connor.

P.S. Mom in your letter you said I better be using Bug spray. The truth is I haven't used it once and nobody in the mission does and I don't get that many bites.

         Elder Valladares Elder Solorzano Elder Zunago Elder Mendez Elder Mann Elder Harris
                      Elder Valladares Elder Solorzano Elder Zunago Elder Mendez Elder Mann Elder Harris

Monday, November 3, 2014

Dia de Muertos

     It has been a pretty good week. It was a little bit sad to miss Halloween because nobody really celebrates that here.   I kept forgetting that it was Halloween and then I would remember and be sad all over again. The Day of the Dead was pretty cool though. We got to go to the Cemetery Thursday or Friday, I can't remember, to help a member paint the grave of his father in law. The graves here are all above ground and are these huge stone boxes with usually two or three or more people inside of them. Everyone paints the graves for the day of the dead, so it did look super cool because they paint them all sorts of bright fun colors.   Mom you would have loved to see it.
      I have seen the kids flying kites. Its gotten really windy this week, so there have been quite a few of them. The kids are freakin pros too.  They can get the kites up super high. They're just these tiny little specks in the sky and what's more impressive is that to get them up there they have to thread the kites through a ton of dialectical wires and all that. I see kids quite a lot but most of them are pretty shy and don't really talk to us that much.  
    The Spanish is going well. I can understand pretty much everything and now just need to work on speaking up more. I don't have to pay to get packages.  They go to the mission office and then the zone leaders get them through the pouch every week and give them to us at district meeting. We try to work with the branch members a lot but its hard because they're always working and can't leave with us which is frustrating but I guess they have to make a living.
      I've tried some new foods I guess. We eat these things called papusas a lot which is pretty much two tortillas with cheese and beans or this stuff called chicharon in it.   They're really good though. I had some pumpkin stuff the other day that was really good but other than that the food isn't that weird, Mostly rice, beans, and eggs. The dogs here don't really bother people so I haven't been chased and if they do get mean all you have to do is pretend to pick up a rock and they run for it.
      This week we had a lot of first lessons. For some reason almost everyday of our schedule was completely empty, so we did a lot of tracting and found some new investigators so this week is looking better. The weekend was pretty rough because everyone was in the cemeteries so we couldn't leave with members and no one was home anyway so it didn't really matter. Dad, I pray a ton for every meal and in every lesson and before we leave and after we get back and before every study session so ya, its a ton. I love you guys all so much and hope you have an awesome month. Mom Happy Birthday.   I sent you a birthday letter a couple weeks ago, hope it gets there. One weird thing about here is that they sing happy birthday in English.   T
   The crocodile is from last week when we hiked the mountain. It's just some random crocodile living in a tiny village, so we went to see it and I got to touch pretty cool if I do say so myself.

                                            With my companion

   My shoes after the hike.  They were wrecked but I've cleaned them and now they're as good as new. I think were going to the border today, finally, so 'Ill send you some pictures of El Salvador next week.

  This one is of me and my comp and then the companionship that shares the branch with us. the Latino elder left this week and now we have a new one. Elder Chunga Elder Warth Elder Mann

 These are some pictures of our apartment just so you can see where I'm living. No pictures of the bathroom which I know you really wanted to see but my comp was showering when these were taken so ya
hat threw me off guard. Anyway love you all. Love Connor