Monday, April 25, 2016

BAMM!

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

jacob.stiles@myldsmail.net

Hey Everyone,

Well Monday we went to a Mayan Temple called Altun Ha.  We had to rent a taxi driver to take us there because it's kind of far away.  Well it was a long day... Our taxi driver was driving very slow and we did not know why until a couple seconds later... BAMM!  One of the tires blew up.  We pulled off to the side of the road and started to change the tire, and he didn't even have an extra tire!  So him and his buddy left us on the side of the road while they went to the next town over to get a tire.  They came back with one that they bought for $10, and it already had a tear in it... so we kept going.  We made it to the temples and we had a guide that was a member so she did it for free.  It was kind of a smaller temple but it was still cool.  After we started back home in the taxi we all of a sudden heard... BAMM!  Another tire blew.  So we had one of the guys take us back to the side of the road while the other guy drove three miles on his axle.  Not sure why he did so but he did.  We ended up having to take a bus all the way to Belize City, and we got back a lot later than we expected to.

Other than that our week was really Good!  We spent a lot of time trying to find news. In our area we have a lot of people that could be baptized whenever they want but just don't want to and we don't understand why.  So this week we are going to bring members to each and everyone of their houses to maybe help them resolve their concerns.  We have learned that a lot of problems that investigators have is more social then it is with the doctrine, and that members can really help with that.

So each and every week we as missionaries do some sort of activity.  Last week my companion and I were in charge of Minute to Win It.  This week Elder Mitchell and Elder Pirir were in charge of Karaoke Night which was a hit as well!  Everyone loved it.  All the missionaries sang!  Elder Simiskey, Hales, Gonzales, and I sand "Love Story" by Taylor Swift, and everyone thought it was funny.  

Well hopefully I will have some good stuff to say next week, and hopefully we will have a baptism of two!

Love, Elder Stiles

QUESTIONS:

How are you??!  I'm doing awesome!!! I love it here and we are working really hard each and everyday!

Where does Wendel and his family get their water, or go to the bathroom?  Umm, there is a pipe in the ground where the whole neighborhood gets their water.  I'm not sure where they use the bathroom...

Does their house have electricity?  No.  Most houses do but theirs doesn't.


Did the sister you were going to baptize last Saturday ever contact you again to tell you why she didn't come?  Well we talked to her and she just says that she has a really big schedule and it just didn't work out. So we are going to try for this week!


What are you doing today for P-Day?  We are going to go to The Princess, an all-you-can eat place. An old elder is here and he is going to take us out to eat!


Where do you buy your food and stuff?  We either buy our food at the China Man and then cook at home, or we go out to eat at a different china place. Just all depends. Today we are going to eat at an All-You-Can-Eat place called The Princess. 

Is soccer the only sport they play there? They mostly just play soccer and basketball.

Are you learning more Kriol each day?  Yeah.  A lot of days we have been trying to speak more and more.  Most of Kriol is the way you pronounce your words.  We learned the word "facey" which means you like to take things without permission.  

What miracles happened this week?  We met a boy named Frank Vasquez who is super cool.  He came to church and brought his sister.  He plans to be baptized in two weeks!


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Monday, April 18, 2016

San Pedro Island

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

jacob.stiles@myldsmail.net

Hey Everyone,

This week was filled with lots of hard work.  Here in the mission we have to have had our investigators go to church three times before they can be baptized.  This was the last week we could find new people to baptize before the change is over.  So lots of hard work!  

Tuesday we did interchanges with the Island of San Pedro.  I stayed on the mainland, but afterwards I got to go pick the other missionaries up by boat, and that is the most beautiful water that I've ever seen in my life.  And I did teach someone there so I guess that means I have served in three countries, and an island.  The boat ride was the coolest thing, but you only last about 20 minutes before you pass out asleep.

This Wednesday my companion and I were in charge of Family Home Evening at the church.  I had made a powerpoint of the Minute To Win It games.  We had no idea how it was going to go but it ended up being amazing!  We did head to head games, and everyone went so crazy for it.  The Adams helped so much with everything!  I don't think we could have done it without them.  We are planning on doing it each week to bring investigators, members, and less active people closer together.  We are planning on doing Karaoke this week so hopefully we get a lot of people to come!

We are teaching a kid named Wendel.  He is a kid who's mom is a member but he has been living in Honduras for the last three years.  So his mom brought him back so he could get baptized.  The first thing he told us was, "I wanna get baptized!"  He lives in a small shack.  You have to walk across little boards that are over a trash filled marsh to get to it.  It's super sketchy but we haven't fallen in yet!

We thought we were going to have a baptism on Sunday but she never showed up.  We were at the church all day because the font takes forever to fill up.  There were things going on so we couldn't leave it there full with all the kids running around.  

But that's all for now!

Love, Jake!

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Monday, April 11, 2016

Gimmee Dolla!

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

jacob.stiles@myldsmail.net


Hey Everyone,

Wow, let me start off by saying this week went by super fast!  Belize City is way crazy!  There are so many moments here where you look at your companion and say, "What the heck?"  There are lots of really cool people as well as crazy people.  

One of the really cool things about here is that there are so many people.  Lots of missionaries come here and have a lot of success in finding positive people.  So far we are really working with three people.  Sister Faber, who we will probably be baptized sometime this week when she is off of work.  Sis Gay, who is a woman we found through a reference, and she loves the church, and wants to make a change in her life.  The last is Andrew, who is a Rosta, and loves us!  He wanted to be baptized this Sunday but we told him he had to wait until he was more ready.

Here everyone asks us for a Dollar.  Whether it's to buy alcohol, weed, or just a dollar juice.  Whenever anybody asks us we just always make sure to ask for one back.  

One miracle that happened this week was that we were really trying to find some new people to baptize so we walked to this area that was pretty far to contact some people.  We came to one house, knocked, and a big Rosta guy came out.  We thought, "Oh man, not another..."  But he invited us in and he was so happy to see us!  He didn't know anything about Mormons.  We shared the Restoration of the Gospel, and he loved it!  He said he believed it was true, and was asking us to baptize him on Sunday.  We told him he had to learn some more.  So next month hopefully he will be baptized.

Here everyone's name is super weird.  Just about any girl with with the name ending in -isha, we have probably met.  And everyone spells their names differently.  So we always have to ask how they spell it.  Also, everyone here speaks pretty hard Kriol.  Some people don't speak English at all so we have to use what we know.  

The people here in the city are either really nice or really mean.  There isn't really any in-between.  Then again, there are so many people we can always find a lot of good people looking to change.  I love this area, and I'm super psyched to be here!

Love you all, 
Elder Stiles

QUESTIONS:

What interesting experiences have you had?  There are lots of things that are interesting here... There is one member that plays the piano, but he looks over the piano each time he plays and figures out who is at church and who isn't.  Then he visits those that didn't come. His name is Bro Munose!

Have you had any funny experiences?  Lots of people like to yell at us while we walk. It's kinda funny.   They profile us and call us Mormons, so we profile them back and say things like, "Kid on a bike!" or " Girl with red hair!"
What is something new you have learned about Elder Simiskey? I learned that he is an amazing missionary, and that he really cares about the people here! He played football.

How long has he been in the mission?  Loooong time! Well, almost 16 months in the mission.


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Elder Simiskey & I

Elder Schlellenberg

Food an investigator made us



Cockroaches we killed

video

Monday, April 4, 2016

Bringing People to Christ

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

jacob.stiles@myldsmail.net


Hey Everyone,

Well, my first week as Zone Leader in Belize City!  I will definitely say it was the last place I thought I'd go, but I'm so excited to be here.  The people are so accepting, and there are so many people!  My companion, Elder Simiskey is the best!  He is an amazing missionary.  He has three changes here so he knows a ton of people.  We live in the same house as the Assistants to the President so we have some company.  Our house has hot water and A/C which is nice.  

Our job as ZL's is to call each of the District Leaders each night and get the numbers of their areas.  Then we add it all up and give it to the AP's.  They tell us how we can improve, and we tell our districts how  they can improve.  We also hold Zone Conferences once a month, and tell the districts how we are going to have success this change.  

There are a lot of crazy people but it makes it interesting.  We went to the funeral of the First Counselor in the Branch Presidency which was really sad but it was very cool to be there to support the family.

Interesting fact about my companion is that he baptized twelve of his friends before the mission.  What he did was told the missionaries to go visit his friends. He also left to leave with the missionaries (??).  

I liked Mervyn Arnolds talk in the Saturday Afternoon session of Conference.  He talked about bringing people to Christ.  During this week my companion and I were talking about the importance of members seeking out people to bring to church.  The missionaries can do a lot but not nearly as much as everyday members.  There is a country in Conga that has an outstanding number of members in the church... and they have never seen missionaries!  All because the people wanted to teach the Gospel.  If we want the Gospel to flourish, every member needs to start thinking of who they can bring to church and put our faith into action. D&C 18:15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
16 And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!
My invitation to everybody is to try to invite just one person to church each week.  Whether they accept your invitation or not, they will feel your love!  I do promise you will come closer to God and your friends if you do so!  I love you all, and hope you have a fantastic week!
Love, Elder Stiles

QUESTIONS:
Is  Belize  as great as you thought it would be?  Yes, it is so amazing! I love being here in Belize City! So much different than before!


What is your house like?  Our house is cool! We have air conditioner, hot showers and a washer!  It's like a house!


How many other missionaries do you live with?  We live with the two Assistants to the President.


What is the name of your ward/branch?  Our branch is the Belize City Branch.


How many members came to church on Sunday?  There are about 120 that come each week.
What are your new responsibilities as Zone Leader?  We take numbers from other missionaries and guide them.


How many districts/missionaries are you responsible for?  3 districts, 12 missionaries


Where did you go to watch Conference?  We watched conference at the church.


What was one of your favorite talks?  One of my favorite talks was Elder Hollands talk! I love how funny he is! And also President Uchtdorf giving out a Star Wars reference in Conference!


What is a miracle that happened this week?  A miracle was that we found a lady named Ms. Gay and she is super positive and came to conference this week and is planning on getting baptized! 
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