7.17.2017: One Year Complete!

What a fantastic week. We had a good week here in Ixhuatán.  It is hard to believe how fast the time is going!  This is already the last week of changes, we will have to see what happens.  On Sunday night we will get the call about if we have changes or not, so next Monday I will know if I am staying here or leaving.  We will see what happens!
This week I was in Jalpatagua on divisions, which was great.  (Jalpatagua was the first area I served, from August until December last year.)  I was there from Tuesday to Wednesday, and Wednesday was the day I hit a year from when I left the house!  It was actually pretty cool the day I hit a year waking up in my first bed, studying in my first desk, etc.  I was sitting all by myself next to the window on the bus and I started thinking.  One, I realized again how beautiful this country is.  It’s amazing here.  I just love Guatemala so much.  The nature, the food, the people, I love everything about it.  I was also reflecting on the last year of my life and how much things have changed.  I was thinking about what I have in the mission when I throw all the numbers, converts, companions, areas, everything right out the window.  What I have is the most important convert of my life: me. I have been truly converted here in Guatemala.  I knew that all of this was true before the mission and I knew it was something I wanted to do, but I have been truly converted in the last year.  My focus is on developing Christ like attributes and I have tried to do my best to improve in everything I can.  I have realized how very very imperfect I am, but that I can keep on improving every day.
Miracle of the week:  Arister got baptized!  Arister is a 16 year old whose parents and sister got baptized back in December.  We have been working wiht him in my whole time here and it has been so great to see his desires grow.  It was raining super super hard the day of his baptism, so there weren’t many people there, but it was a great baptismal service, and it was actually the first person my companion had done the baptism for here in the mission, so that was pretty cool.
Spiritual thought of the week: Yesterday, we had our first interviews with President and Sister Shumway, and it was so great.  I was able to ask President Shumway a question in my interview and I loved his response. My question was the following: “You have served in many callings throughout the years and I am sure you have learned quite a lot while doing so.  What is one thing that you have learned in your years of church service that you wish you would have known before your mission?”  He told me that we just need to love all.  He said he was obedient and diligent and all the things a missionary needs to be, but he didn’t love the people enough.  That is something my dad has always told me, the more we love the people the more satisfying the work will be and the more success we will have.  President Shumway said that in general we need to love more and judge less.  That is my invitation for all this week!  That we love more and judge less.  It is so easy for us to judge others, even if is just a quick thought or a few small words that leave our mouths about somebody.  We need to love all, just as the Savior does.
So this week we were walking and I looked back and saw a car coming, but I couldn’t see really well who was driving it.  As the full size SUV passed, I saw a little boy that couldn’t have been more than eight years old driving this giant SUV while his dad was passed out (asleep, maybe?) in the passenger seat.  This kid was going down the hill at least 40 MPH.  Nothing much surprises me anymore.
Have a great week, thanks for all of your support!

Love,

Elder Semus
Misión Guatemala Sur
#IréHaréSeré
Pictures:
1. Singing a hym with my zone leaders at our last meeting with President and Sister Caffaro
2.  Burning a tie for hitting a year (it’s a tradition on missions)
3.  Arister’s baptism!
4.  With Arister and his family
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