December 24, 2012

December 24, 2012

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!















December 18, 2012

December 17, 2012


Dad asked me to email him something to be read in sacrament meeting this week. I typed it as a short message, and I’m just going to share that as my letter for everyone, because I’m too lazy to write more about my week. lol

Over 2000 years ago our redeemer and savior came to this earth. Once every year we have this holiday season that gives us the opportunity to sit back and reflect on this event. This Christmas season has been more different for me than any other I have had in my life. Not just because I’m spending it in a country that is nowhere near the same as the one I grew up in or because I’m speaking a whole new language, but what has truly made the Christmas season more different than any of those of my past; is that this is my first Christmas of which I’m a representative of that man whose life we are celebrating. This has given me the chance to reflect on the gratitude I have for him. He was born into this world as a normal human being as you and I. He felt sickness and pain as we do. But he grew up to be something more than us as natural men. He preformed miracles, served others, and fulfilled prophecy. "He is despised and rejected of men.....Surely He has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted." (Isaiah 53:3-4) He is the man that went through the meat grinder of life alone in order to atone for our sins even though He did not have any. He is our savior and redeemer Jesus Christ and by Him and only through Him we can return to live in the presence of our creator. I encourage everyone to remember Him and keep His sacrifice in our thoughts this season.
Merry Christmas!
Elder Simon

December 11, 2012

December 10, 2012

This week has been the hottest week by far since I have been in Peten. The capital has the best weather ever and is nice year round. When I was in the CCM I thought the weather was so nice in Guat and it wasn’t humid or hot like everyone said it would be, but Peten is a whole other thing. It’s always humid, but this week we were feeling the heat!! We haven’t had members able to work with us, so we spent three nights last week in the house. Sucks! But when we had members with us we got two members, so we were able to do divisions to make up for the lost nights. When I go on a division with a member all they can really do is share testimony because they don’t know how we teach and what not, so I end up doing almost hundred percent of the lessons. It has helped my confidence a lot when I teach without using my companion as a crutch for Spanish. One lady this last week asked me how long I have been in the field and after telling I have been here for six weeks she said that I speak a ton of Spanish for someone that has only been out one change. And in one of our lessons the member told our investigator that when I arrived to the area 6 weeks ago I didn’t know anything in Spanish and now I’m speaking a ton. These experiences have help my confidence a ton. I truly believe that the Lord blesses his missionaries with the language. I know that this is Gods work and I’m sharing his gospel in the fullness of times. Jesus is the Christ and we can only receive salvation through him.

Elder Simon

December 8, 2012

December 3, 2012

Well this week was super discouraging. I feel that his last week I had worked harder than any other week since I have been in the field, but we had no results. Our good investigators are not progressing, we had no one come to church, and we have a new mission rule that is making the work hard. Last week our zone was given a new rule. This rule is that if it is past 5pm and we don’t have a member with us we need to return to the house for the night. This has been due to security issues in the capital, but I’m super safe where I’m at in Guat. So my companion and I decided that we were going to make a list to bring to the church for the members to sign up to work with us during the week. During church yesterday we had only 17 people in attendance during sacrament and only had 3 active adult males at church who can work with us and only 2 signed up. So for this next week we are really worried that we will not be able to get work done. This rule is hard on the areas like mine where we only have a small branch. We are going to need to pray a lot to be able to get to work this week!! That’s all that has really happened this week.

Elder Simon

November 30, 2012

November 29, 2012

November 26, 2012


So this last week was my first Thanksgiving away from home. It was super different. They don’t celebrate Thanksgiving at all here in Guat so it is just another work day for missionaries. We got locked out of our house during the day because my comp left the keys in the house. So we had to try for like 2 hours to break into our house. To finish the night I decided I was going to buy 7 pupusas to celebrate Thanksgiving by myself. Usually 3 will fill me up, so 7 is sufficient for Thanksgiving. Well on Friday my body got the full affect of food poisoning for the first time. I was vomiting all day and got a fever of 101. It sucked. I was in bed until Sunday night. Now I can’t even think about eating a pupusas without wanting to puke. So my own personal Thanksgiving backfired on me. That was pretty much the only real exciting thing that happened all week. There just isn’t too much to write about when you spend most of the week in bed. As a missionary being sick is terrible and even worse for my comp because he is healthy and cannot do anything. ..........Well I just want to let you all know that I’m glad to be where I am. I know that I’m literally representing Jesus Christ. This is his work.
Elder Drew Simon

November 24, 2012

November 19, 2012


This week was migrane free and Im feeling great. My zone is so big land wise.....its all of Peten!! And there are only 24 elders in Peten out of the 200 in the mission. I'm lucky to be here. Everything is so much more foreign in this country than any other country in central America because of the whole Myan culture that is still very strong here.
 
Hermana Watts told me that if you want to send me a package for Christmas, send it now! And on the 17th of December we will be celebrating Christmas in our zone which will include watching a Disney movie and opening packages from home. On the 25th is when I'm calling. Oh and did Brett and Baylee receive a letter from me.

This week has been great! We still have bats, but its alright I guess. Our neighbors gave garlic, told us to sleep with the lights on, and to sleep under the covers so it wont bite our necks. Hahaha I love how superstitious Guats are. The scary part is that my comp believed every word they said, so we really do have garlic hanging around in our house. We also came upon a snake this week. We killed it, but my comp told me that it was a venomoussnake......Who knows all I know is that it was red.
The work has been going really well this week. Yesterday we did a division with some members and the member that was with me didnt want to say anything during our lesson, so yesterday I seriously taugh t100 percent of our lesson and I invitede the family to be baptized for next month and they excepted. It was a real confidence booster for my Spanish. Well I dont have too much more to write about, but I wanna let everyone know that I love being a missionary and I know without any doubt that this is the work of the Lord and this is his church. Elder Drew Simon

November 15, 2012

November 12, 2012

This week has been interesting. It still feels like pulling teeth to work with my comp, but we manage to work still. I'm truly at my happiest when I'm serving others. What has truly made this week interesting has been what I have seen regarding animals. Last Monday my zone went to some Myan ruins and we got to climb all of them. It was so much fun! We saw monkeys in the trees and they were so freakishly loud. It was as loud as I would imagine apes being, but these were just small monkeys. Then on Tuesday I was cleaning dishes and I picked up a pot that was upside down and a huge tarantula ran out of it scaring the crap out of me. Then on Friday I got light headed and wasvomiting for a good part of the day, so I was in bed reading Jesus el Cristo when I saw out of the corner of my eye flying above me, but I just ignored it. A few minutes later I saw it again and realized it was a huge bat. Our ceiling is really high, so I just thought to myself, I wont worry about it because it will probably stay up there.......... I was wrong! When reading I saw something coming right at me and I flipped out of my bed right as the bat took a nose dive for my bed. My comp and I spent the following hour trying to find and kill the bat but there was no luck. The bat still currently resides in our house. Then last night my comp wakes me up right when I barley fell asleep and he gave me a stick and he said that he saw a huge trantula that we need to kill. I asked why do we need to kill it and he told me that it is one that is super venemous. We couldn't find it and as you can imagine, I slept very peacful that night knowing what was living with us.
Well that all I really have to write about this week! 

November 7, 2012

November 5, 2012


Week 2 has been even crazier that last week. I can now say that after one week I can pretty much understand everything my comp says and things in that respect are a lot better. My companion and I had and argument last week and he pretty much hates me right now and lectures me every night how I need to be doing what he says because he is the senior comp. I respect his authority, but I also am here to work and obey ALL of the rules perfectly and he just hasnt been doing that for a few months. This week we found a family that told us that they have been searching for the true church of God the last few months and been praying to find it. I can see the light in their eyes and can tell that they have been prepared to hear our message. If they don't end up getting baptized I will be devestated, but what can I do. Just pray. I'm still adjusting to the culture here. Saw a scorpion for the first time in my life last week that was exciting! Pray for me and this work.

Elder Simon
 

October 30, 2012

October 29, 2012

Ok so this last week has been nuts! On Tuesday morning we left really early and were in the mission home (where I got a ton of letters that got sent to the mission home and not the MTC, so if you sent me a letter in the MTC and I never recieved it you can probably count that I got it at the mission home.) in metting forever and then at 3 we got bussed off to the ZLs house in the Cap (Guat city) and we got split up we elders and got to work for that night. I was in a area of Guatemala city that has been pretty sketchy in the past. The elder I was with told me that there was one point for a week straight that they couldnt leave the apartment because it was too dangerous. You honsetly dont feel scared in places like that as a missionary, but I would probably never go over there without the nametage and in street clothes. So when we finished thaat night we all stayed the night at the ZLs house and would prepare for wednesday for the change meeting. I got assigned to La Libertad in Peten. Its a ten hour bus ride north of the cap. So I spent wednesday on a bus and I arrived to La Libertad wednesday morning. Our house is nasty! Concrete floors, tin roof, no running water (I shower with a bucket), and we can hear rats running on the roof. I have only seen one trantuala and that was one too many! We starting to work Thursday and we met one of the invesdgators that was preparing to be baptized on saturday. Because Im a gringo he asked me if I could do the baptisim. So on saturday I preformed my first baptisim. Our area is huge and only has one branch. Our area is as large at the whole Guatemala City central mission. My comp is from El Salvador and I cannot understand a word he says. His Spanish is way different! I sometimes feel like Im in solitaryconfinment because I cannot talk to anyone. All I know about him is his name and that he sleeps til 7 eveymorning.  More updates next week!

Btw If I tried to send yall a letter you probably wont recieve it until a little after Christmas and I wouldnt get a response letter til Febuary because of how far out Im at, so I can recieve emails from everyone now and not just family, so you guys should all email me at richard.simon@myldsmail.net
On top of this, Drew sent another e-mail that said that he is having a hard time because he keeps getting migraines that take away his vision, he is having a hard time eating and he is worried about his physical health.  But he still says that there is no amount of schooling or life experiences that you can receive in 2 years that will surpass the mission and he knows that this is the most important work in the world.  But he is worried about how he is feeling and also having a hard time not being able to talk to anyone.  Please keep him in your prayers.

October 21, 2012

October 20, 2012

So this was my last full week in the MTC. I’m going to the field on Tuesday!! I’m very excited to be serving people in the field. This last week we went contacting again. It was a very humbling experience because all of the homes had dirt floors with tin roofs. We found a cliff that went down into a junglish valley and on the edge of the cliff my companion and I saw stairs that went down the side of the cliff. I’m not going to lie, it felt just like what you would feel like when walking down the stairs of mordor up to the lair of the spider. We realized that there was a home down theses stairs and decided that we would contact them. When we were almost done walking down the stairs there was a freakish rabid dog that came out blocking the stairs and our path to the house. We decided to pray to know what we should do. During our prayer the dog turned around and ran down the stairs into the valley, my companion said "well that our answer!" and we left that home with a Book of Mormon. It was a great experience to have and I’m not even in the field yet. My Spanish is getting better and better every week and I feel ready for the field. I love you guys all very much and I ask you all to pray for this great work to continue. 
Elder Simon 

October 13, 2012

October 13, 2012


Thank you Aunt Robin, Jill, Jared, and Lori Dailey for letters.  I really appreciate it!!!  This week is my last week in the MTC! Im very excited to start my work in the mission field. My Spanish is getting pretty good. All of the lations can understand me, but I can understand half of what they say.  The mtc isn't too exciting so I don't have to many things to write about. This week I get to go contacting again and then we have a lot of workshops this week to prepare us for the field. I'm dreading Tuesday because we don't get to play sports and being in such a small area like this MTC its the only thing that keeps someone sane. But besides that I love the MTC. The food here is still either hit or miss but it is nice being in a mtc of the country of my Mission. I will write next week right before I go into the field.
Elder Simon

October 9, 2012

October 8, 2012


Well I get to write today and again this Saturday because of conference.
This last conference was amazing! That announcement regarding missionaries was insane and couldn't believe I was watching that change. I felt a very strong spirit with that announcement and I will be glad to have 18 year olds joining us in the next few months. And the change in age for the sisters is going to bring many more sisters into this work. This change is a sign that this work is progressing and the Lord needs more full time servants, I cannot wait to get into the field in 2 weeks to be more apart of that work. After listening to two days of conference I feel that it killed my Spanish, but my Spanish is doing well. I´m very thankful to be at this MTC where I have the chance to use Spanish more often than I would in Provo and I also get to hear the native spanish while I’m here unlike the MTC. Right now I can hold up conversations with most of the Spanish speakers here except for the ones from the Dominican Republic....those guys speak so fast. Besides that there are not too many things going on around here.
I’m counting down the days til I leave for the field, I love the MTC but I want to be in the field so badly. I hope everyone is doing well and if you want to write me it would be best to use dear elder because I don’t have much more time here. I know what I’m doing here is the most important thing I could be doing in my life and that this truly is God’s work! Im grateful to be part of the building of the kingdom.
Elder Simon

October 4, 2012

October 2, 2012


We get to have our email today for this week instead of Saturday because it is conference weekend. Please tell people to send letters with my right name (Richard Simon) so I can receive them! Because I have only received one letter here and that was from dad. In Provo I was getting letters from everyone in Rexburg. And a letter could take 2-3 stamps.

Well it’s only  been a few days since my last email but we get to email again today because we won’t have the chance to email this Saturday because it is conference weekend. All of the latinos left for the mission field this week so we are getting a new group tomorrow. I hope this new group is as awesome as the old ones. Today we had a tour of the city and got to go to the downtown plaza and take pictures and we got to go shop at the markets for an hour and lastly we got to eat food at wendys. It was nice having food of the states. haha It only been 3 weeks and my taste for certain foods has been changing. I didn’t buy anything at the market, because the CCM president said that we should just buy more authentic things in the field. Well I only have two minutes left for email. My next one will be on Next Saturday.  Elder Simon

September 30, 2012

September 29, 2012

Well I'm at that point where I´m only in the MTC for three more weeks until I go to the field. I'm so excited!! The last three weeks here in Guatemala went by way faster than the 3 weeks in Provo. This last week we went out into the city and got to knock on doors. My companion and I were able to get seven referrals from street contacting alone. It was really fun, but while I was in the middle of it I got a migraine (my spelling is horrible) it was a bad one and I felt at any second I could throw up, especially on the bus ride back......we took a public bus and they pack those things down here. They have people hanging off the edge of the bus just to hitch a ride. We saw a lot of interesting things while in the city contacting though. The street was filled with dog poop and then we saw a grown man pooping in the middle of the street. It sure is a different culture here! In two days all of the latinos here leave for the field and I'm going to miss all of them because they are all really awesome. My Spanish is getting better and better everyday here and I am very grateful to be at this MTC so that I can hear the language more often. Well I don't have much more to say, so I will write back next week. Elder Simon

September 22, 2012

September 22, 2012


Everything is going great here in Guatemala. I love it here and the lationos are so much fun to hang out with. I have been playing soccer everyday for about an hour. They all think Im the best goalie here, but it is because the goals are so small I just pretend Im playing goalie in hockey, which includes droping to the ground to black shots and scraping my knees. I just bought a Guatemala soccer jersey for ten bucks so I really am excited to wear it. We had a soccer team of all gringos beat the latinos, which was probably the most exciting thing that has happened here. On monday they are taking us out into neighborhoods in the city to go proseltying. Im super nervous because Im knocking on doors for real with only four weeks of Spanish. Wish me luck. If we find someone who is interested we might teach them a quick lesson, but then we fill out a referal for the Elders in the field. My Spanish is getting better and better everyday, today Im only speaking in Spanish and if I speak even one word in English I told my companion he can punch me. I have been having an issue now where when I speak English I ocassionaly throw words in in Spanish. For the last few days my companion and I have been going to the temple grounds and speaking to the members there. I´m writing a few letters home today so expect them in 2 weeks! haha I also hear that dear elders work over here so just send them with my address here if you want to write me..... Well I dont have much more to write about this week. I love you guys all very much and thank you all for your
support.      Elder Simon

September 16, 2012

September 15, 2012

Well I´m in Guatemala and it is pretty awesome. I feel that they are much more strict in this MTC but it is worth it to be in the country. The only big thing that I look forward to around here is the gym time, which is pretty funny looking because with all of the walls and barbed wire around the concrete gym yard it feels like having gym in a prison yard. The basketball hoops are really getto also with the metal chain nets and all, but I have mostly been playing soccer with the natives (on a concrete soccer field). It is way fun. I have been playing goalie and I´m ok at it. All of the natives have been wanting me on their teams for goalie. The goals are almost the size of two hockey nets so it is much more easier to play goalie here than it was in Provo. I wish they would want to play basketball but oh well.... I got a new companion, but we still have companions from the states thank goodness. My companion is Elder Rios.....Mexican. So all the natives mistake him for a Spanish speaker, which is pretty funny. And he was also a convert. He was baptized two years ago this week. It is truly amazing what the gospel can do to peoples lives. I really enjoy being his companion. The mtc is really small, with about 100 missionaries. Everyone who works here speaks Spanish and we have Spanish speaking roommates, so they are forcing us to learn Spanish. I'm thankful to be here because I feel like I need to be here to get my Spanish going. Our teachers can speak a very little bit of Spanish, so we can ask something if we absolutely don't know the words in Spanish. It is crazy how I occasionally catch myself thinking some things in Spanish. I have 5 and a half weeks here and that feels like forever from now, but I´m sure it will go faster than I anticipate. I love the MTC, but I really really look forward to the day I can serve in the field. Oh something else....I heard that we can get dearelder.com here, so that would be the fastest way for me to get letters because otherwise they say that it will take 10 to 15 days to receive letters. My address is

Cantro de CapacitaciĆ³n Misional Guatemala,
Buheuar Vista Hermosa 23-71,
Vista Hermosa I, Zona 15,
Guatemala City 01015,
Guatemala........

Well that's pretty much all I have to say now. The food here is either amazing or horrible and my ability to try anything has occasionally been my down fall, but it is good practice because the food here is supposed to be similar to the field.
I want to let all of you know that this gospel is true and there is nothing more important I need to do right now.
Elder Simon

September 12, 2012

September 12, 2012


His plane left Salt Lake last night at 8p.m. and he flew to Los Angeles and then he had a 4 hour layover and then flew from there straight to Guatemala City and got there around 6a.m. this morning.  We were able to talk to him on the phone last night from the Los Angeles airport and he sounded great, very happy and excited to get to Guatemala.  Today we received the following e-mail from him:

Hey, I hope you feel much better knowing that I madeit here safely. It
isnt too much more different from the states when you are in the
city.......except for the drivers. The MTC is really nice and the food
tast way better than it did in Provo. It wont be tasting this good in
the field though. I got some sleep on the flight down, but not enough.
I have a full day ahead of me and I feel as though I could pass out
any second from my lack of sleep. I also dont understand this crazy
waveof humidity everyone is talking about. It is way hard to type on a
Spanish keyboard. Hopefulyby the time I send my next email I will be
able to tell you how you can contact me. It is awesome being here and
my Spanish should get good really fast.

                                Elder Drew Simon

September 6, 2012

September 6, 2012


Well it has been two weeks now, but it feels like I have been here forever. Everything here is really repetitive, but you can still manage to enjoy everything by the spirit here. This week has been really interesting. My companion and I got to practice our door approaches this week (in Spanish of course) and our first time trying it with a real person behind the door we messed up, but it was a good learning experience. I'm glad we have nine weeks to get this stuff down. But this week we had our first real missionary experience. This last week i have been sick with a fever and some sinus problems, so the health center here told me and my companion to walk down the street to the BYU health center to see a doctor to get some drugs. While we were walking back to the MTC this guy on a bike started to ride along side of us and he slowed down a bunch to be at our walking pace and he then asked us how long have we been out then we told him that we have only been the MTC for two weeks. Then my companion asked if he served a mission and he told us that he served in St. Louis. So we told him that’s awesome, but then he told us that he doesn't go to church anymore. So after a long awkward pause my companion asked why? And he said "Oh because I'm gay!" .................I was seriously horrified and didn't know what to say. We continued talking to him until we got to the MTC, but we didn't to too good of a job inviting him unto Christ. Right when it was over i knew exactly what I should have said, but it was way too late. That’s by far the most interesting experience I have had in the last two weeks.

          So on this Tuesday I fly to Guatemala!!! At 8 pm we fly out to LA where we are going to have a 4 hour layover and then fly down to Guatemala city and arrive there around 6 in the morning. Elder Mijangos and I are really excited to be in public as missionaries for the first time, but it is also really scary after only being here as long as we have. When we get to the MTC I will get a native companion (They say this is to help me with my spanish, but I think they just enjoy tormenting me) and that companion will only be there for three weeks because they know Spanish and then I will get a second native companion to finish out my time in the MTC. I'm really excited to get to the Guatemala MTC! I hear that the food is a lot better there and won’t do strange things to your body like the food here. And we will be speaking Spanish 24/7. I don't feel ready for that especially since its only 5 days until then. 

         Well we are restricted on how much time we can email so i better end this, but I just want to let everyone know that I'm doing great! I love the spirit here and everyday I’m here I become a little more prepared to invite others to come unto Christ. I have a firm testimony that this is the building of Gods kingdom on this earth and being part of it is the happiest thing I can be doing right now.

Sincerely, Elder Drew Simon

August 30, 2012

August 30, 2012

So its been nine days and I have my first personal day, so I can finally email! It has been really tough, but I have also enjoyed the expirence very much. Spanish is coming. Right now I know more Spanish vocab than anyone in my district and my companion and I are probably speaking the best Spanish as well. I know for a fact that the gift of tounges is a real thing. Ok well I will explain wahat has happened day by day. On day one everything was so paniced and rushe.....well atleast from my point of view. Staci droped me off and the rushed me in right away and I got my missionary name tags and my MTC ID card and some other good stuff. I alos met my companion Elder Williams. Elder Williams had a really tough time and pretty much didnt want to be here at all. Then later I had dinner and had my first class right after that. On thursday I started Spanish and since then all of my prayers have been in Spanish. We got through the day after a lot of work and then we met our Branch President thurdasy night. Elder Williams meeting with the branch president didnt go so well, so the next day he had to meet with the District president where I waited in the secratarys office for almost 8 hours...ugh! When it was all done Elder Williams told me he was going home. He left half an hour later. I''m pretty sure it wasn''t worthieness issues, but he was complaining about how hard it is here and his grilfriend held him back. But this was a really good thing for me because I then got a new comp named Elder Mijangos we are both going to Guatemala and we both have strong desires to work hard and be exactly obident. Elder Mijangos and I have been teaching our first investigator (all in Spanish) and it has gone really well. So besides working everyday, not too much has been going on around here. The work here is a lot harder than college, but it is easy to do knowing that I''m not doing this for myself. The MTC is planning on having me fly out to the Guatemala MTC on September 11th (great day to fly eh?)......I''m super excited to get there because the work here gets really old fast. Well I love you all very much!!!

Elder Simon