Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Called to Serve - Zone Leader

President Kai D. Hintze
El Salvador, San Salvador West/Belize Mission
March 30, 2016

Dear family of Elder Stiles,
It is with pleasure that I inform you that Elder Stiles has been called to serve as a Zone Leader in the Belize City zone. His companion will be Elder Simiskey. Elder Stiles has been an exemplary missionary.  He has demonstrated diligence, hard work, faith, love and has obtained the respect of the rest of the missionaries.
As a Zone Leader, I will work closely with him to motivate and influence the rest of the missionaries in his zone.  At the same time, Elder Stiles will be expected to lead and exemplify every aspect of missionary work.
I appreciate having Elder Stiles as a servant of God here in the mission field.  I truly know that he is a special son of God.

Kai D. Hintze
Mission President

Monday, March 28, 2016

Big News

Elder Jacob Stiles 
El Salvador San Salvador West/Belize Mission 
P.O. Box 1123 
Belize City, Belize, C.A.

Hey Everyone, 

Well I'll start off with the big news first...  This whole change I was led to believe that I was going to stay as District Leader for another change here in Bullet Tree but  turns out that I will be packing my bags for, duh, duh, duhhh... Belize City Zone Leader with Elder Simiskey!  Which means even later nights, and an even hotter area!  Elder Tuchan will stay here to be D.L. over the missionaries here.  I'm super excited to go to Belize City because everyone wants to go there and it is a blessed place.

This week was a very slow week because it was Semana Santa.  All the businesses are closed and everybody is gone.  Monday we ate at a restaurant that had a dog next door that would jump really high to look over the fence at us.  We did service for a lot of people.  We helped stack wood, separate beans, and washed lots of dishes.  

This weekend consisted of Sabado de Gloria and Domingo de Resurrecion.  On Friday the stores weren't even allowed to be open because of the holiday and they have to show respect.  The Catholics are the ones that mostly celebrate this time and the people carry around a giant cross while singing hymns.

We showed Meet the Mormons to celebrate Easter with the branch.  My companion learned to sew.  A little was baptized.  Her family is members and it was a very cool experience.

I would like to bear my testimony that I know this church is true and that is was restored by the Prophet Joseph Smith.  I also know that Jesus Christ lives and that he suffered for all of our pains, afflictions, and our sins.  I also know that missionaries are called of God through a living Prophet.  I know and I testify that it doesn't matter who you are you can change and become a better person.  I know I am not perfect but I do my best to be so.  I also know it is a commandment to go on a mission and that the mission was the best thing to ever happen to me.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ has changed my life, and I'm glad to have it in my life.  I say these things in the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Love, Elder Stiles

When you have to speak/teach in church do you speak in English or Spanish? I talk in Spanish her in Bullet Tree.

What miracle happened this week?  A Miracle was that we found a little boy named Kevin whose family is members and now he wants to be Baptized!

What have you learned the most by being District Leader?  I have learned that being a leader is hard but its worth being able to help other missionaries achieve their Goals.

What did you do Sunday for Easter?  We Just worked as normal and then watched Meet the Mormons with the members.

How many Deacons/Teachers/Priests do you have at church?  Well we have 3 young men and the rest are older people that help with sacrament

(click on images to enlarge)

Eating dinner with the Zone

Separating Beans

Movie Night with the Members

Catholic Painting made from Sawdust

Catholics carrying Cross

Elder Tuchan learning to Crochet

Kira Williams

Bullet Tree

Monday, March 21, 2016

One Year Down!

Elder Jacob Stiles 
El Salvador San Salvador West/Belize Mission 
P.O. Box 1123 
Belize City, Belize, C.A.

Hey Everyone, 

This week I hit my one year mark!  A year from now, March 16, 2017, I will be home!  It's so crazy how fast the mission goes by.  It feels like yesterday that I was leaving my family for the first time!  Every single day of the mission that goes by feels like nothing because we are always so busy.

This Monday we went to Cahal Pech again for those missionaries that have not seen it.  It was super cool even the second time.  The P-day was short because we had problems getting our food, and also with the internet, but it was good anyways.  We also celebrated the birthday of Elder Hansen.  We got him pizza, coke, and chips to celebrate.  He was super happy we did something because he said plans fell through and it was one of the worst birthdays until we came along.  We ended the celebration of his birthday with the traditional shirt burning to mark my one year.

This last week was mostly filled with me doing interchanges with the Elders in Cayo.  As one of my duties as District Leader I have to do an interchange with the Elders, and I also have to go over to Cayo to do baptismal interviews.

My companion and I learned a magic trick with rubber bands and it's super cool because it doesn't matter how many times you do it, they will never see how it's done.  So a lot of times we use that as a way for people to warm up to us.

Well, here is the miracle for this week.  I went to go do an interview in Cayo and the other Zone Leaders went to Bullet Tree. When we switched again they came back and said Ernesto decided to get baptized and they did the interview for him.  He was baptized Saturday!  After six months the curse of Cayo could not hold us back!  

Here in Bullet Tree we have to build a baptismal font.  It only took us around 15-20 minutes to build it, but after we filled it up inside we had a question... "How do we get the water back outside?"  It wasn't until we started getting buckets to carry the water outside that someone told us there was a pump to suck the water out.  

We had 35 people at church this week, and Ernesto got confirmed so this week was good!

Love, Elder Stiles

(Click on Photos to Enlarge)

Elder Osiek & me

Cahal Pech

Elder Hansen's Birthday



Sweet Internet Cafe

Monday, March 14, 2016

Gud Maanin! (Good Morning)

Elder Jacob Stiles 
El Salvador San Salvador West/Belize Mission 
P.O. Box 1123 
Belize City, Belize, C.A.

Hey Everyone, 

Well our P-Day consisted of us going to the church and watching  the movie, Ephraim's Rescue.  I remember in the movie him washing his hands every time he gave a blessing, and the thing I like was he said, "None of us are truly clean but we must do our best to do so."  

Now this week was really slow because I got sick again... Not very surprising, and no, it had nothing to do with parasites in my arm.  I just got a flu bug or something.  But it was good that it happened because I got a testimony from the experience!  And that testimony is of Coke!  My companion drinks Coke with just about every meal but this was the week I decided to be healthy and drink water.  the Coke kills the little bugs or anything bad in the food.  So from now on I will be drinking Coke with every meal!  But anyways, this week I pretty much just sat in the house with my companion all day.  We got our house cleaned by our neighbor, and occasionally we left to go get food or go to the church.  

The Alicos took us to the Multizone Conference in Belize City.  The meeting was very cool even though I felt sick through the whole thing.  They provided us with breakfast and lunch.  For us to get there on time we had to leave at 6:30.  After the meeting the Alicos took us to the Zone Leaders house to stay the night because I had to get up early to take a test in San Ignacio.  That same day was also the birthday of Elder Freeman so we bought him a cake and sang Happy Birthday to him... and may, or may not, have shoved his face in the cake.

We also saw a broadcast with Elder Holland for the Young Single Adults.  Basically it was two hours of marriage advice, but it was a very cool broadcast.

Every Saturday we have lunch with President Cambranes, and then we talk about how we can better the branch.  Our idea for this week is Family Home Evenings with every family here in the branch.  This week he made us BBQ Pork which was good.... and we also had Pig Tail.

This week we have a baptism planned for Saturday with our investigator Ernesto!  We are super excited because he is ready!  He really has a testimony, a real desire.  Hope things go as planned this week!

Love, Elder Stiles


Do they actually eat a lot of raccoons in Belize?
     Umm not that i know of... they kind of acted like it was rare but who knows..

Did Ernesto get baptized?
     No. Ernesto is planned to get baptized this coming weekend!

Do you still have ants in your house?  Are they the kind that bite?
     No. the Ants are gone, and yes, if they get on your skin they bite and it hurts really bad cause they are so big!

What miracles happened this week?
     Well a Miracle that happened this week was that I got better from my sickness pretty fast!

Who washes you clothes and how much do you pay?
     Sister Ana Washes our clothes, and she does it for $10 Belize each week!

(Click on Photos to Enlarge)

Elder Freeman's Birthday

Elder Tuchan

Elder Tuchan & I


President Cambranes

BBQ Pork & Pig Tail

Monday, March 7, 2016

Kumusto Kayo!

Elder Jacob Stiles 
El Salvador San Salvador West/Belize Mission 
P.O. Box 1123 
Belize City, Belize, C.A.

Hey Everyone,

Well the first thing is that you are probably wondering what the phrase "Kumusta Kayo" means.  We  met a Hawaiian man whose parents are Philippians, and we learned a couple of words from him.  The phrase is almost like Spanish.  "Kumusta" is just like "Como Esta" - "How are You?"  But the word "Kayo" is how they say "You" in Tagalog... Or as far as my knowledge goes.  Just about all of his family are members of the church so he loves taking pictures with the missionaries and showing his family.

This week on our P-day we did not do anything.  We ate and went with the zone to get ice cream.  This week was full of finding those that are ready to repent of their sins and be baptized.  In the month of February the mission had 40 baptisms which is the lowest it's been in forever.  But President Hintze also said that he doesn't need us to work harder because in all his time he has never seen missionaries work so hard.  So what we've been doing is using this time more wisely.  We are working with members, getting references, and working with less active members.

Also this week, we got a surprise call from immigration telling us we had to go to Belmopan to fix the passport of Elder Tuchan while he was here training.  While we were waiting we got a visit from a man that wanted to know about what the Mormons believed in.  Turns out he just wanted to Bible Bash.  We ended up telling him that he needed to humble himself and ask God if the things we shared were true.  Then he stopped talking and we left.  

We also had Zone Conference which is always the first week of the month.  We heard from Elder Alico, the Senior Couple.  One of my favorite things he said was, "do you want to be part of the problem or the solution."  No matter the situation you can always be the solution.  You can complain about what is happening, or you can get up and fix it.  I also like the quote, "People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care."  Which is definitely true here in Belize.  If the people don't know you love them then they won't listen.

We worked with the Adams', which is another Senior Couple who are in charge of Seminary and Institute, so we visited all the students.

And to end, I ate raccoon this week... and I don't know how to explain it other than it taste like chicken. Just about the same, right...?

Love, Elder Stiles

(Click on Photos to Enlarge)

Ice Cream Shop

Bracelet I bought.  Jah is the name of GOD for Rastafarians

Me at the Bus Stop

A house built on stilts

The same game that Grandma Clella has

Animals at Branch President's house

President's dog

A Grandpa member wearing girls' sunglasses

Half Eaten Ribs, potatoes, and some weird green plan

Our Area

Pamphlets we give out in some of the languages like Chinese & Ketchi

Kriol Bible