Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A Better Way to Smoke

One week left kids. I leave guat Tuesday morning probably around 3 in the morning. No one has told us anything yet, but that was the last group of gringos.

So this week was fairly average. nothing too crazy to report on. I went in for a lesson with my "investigator" (my teacher) named José and he is a very unique person... I basically laugh throughout the lesson. and one of the lessons with him he started it out by asking if Mormons can have multiple wives... so we had to explain how we can not do that anymore.. then he asked "oh so only one wife in Guatemala and one in USA and one in...." NOPE. I guess we cant do that either. Then he said he has multiple girlfriends all in different cities... I asked if any of them knew about each other and he said "Ohhhhhh no es muy malo..." (very bad) so we told him he needs to only have one girlfriend and one wife. then 2 lessons later he told us that since he cant have multiple chicas he snorts crack and smokes weed to fill the gap... then my comp. accidentally said we would show him a new way to smoke instead of a way to quit smoking... so that was great fun.

And this past Sunday was the last fast Sunday in the MTC. And I bore my testimony in Spanish. It´s crazy because that was the first time I've born my testimony in about 4 years or so in front of the congregation, and it was in a different language. I didn´t even have to think about what to say, everything just flowed so easily. I wish I could have had longer. The branch president said at the beginning that everyone can only have 1 minute maximum so of course everyone went on for 2 or 3 minutes, then the guy right before me took up 15 minutes and the pres. had to tell him twice to sit down and he still did not sit down. so I had the great opportunity to talk for 20 glorious seconds because he took us 20 minutes over time. yeah it was dumb. but it was still good.

Also in a lesson with this girl (my teach) and her husband (a supervisor) I bore my testimony for the first time on the BOM and it felt way good. Gotta say that was one of the best feelings ever. I couldn´t hold back my smile and my body was shaking and shiz. man it was lit.

Other than that nothing is new in Guat. We´ve been playing B-ball a lot during our gym time and lets just say I´ve won about 10 times. more than anyone else. we play "bump" AKA "knockout" i don't know whatever you people call it. I straight up beat an elder from florida that played with guys that are in the NBA now. and he´s played against Shaquille O´Neals son. so yeah I should go pro. Yeah that´s it bois. one week left.

Estoy entusiasmado para entrar el campo mission, y para cambier las vidas de las personas del Salvador. Tengo miedo para este experiencia, pero estoy listo. Yo he aprendido muchas cosas en la CCM Y yo se que yo puedo ayudar todas las personas en El Salvador. Hasta Luego. Quidense.That's from memory. I think that´s pretty much right.

I always forget to write stuff that happened throughout the week then I remember then I forget once I get in front of the comp. so that´s fantastic. I don´t think anything outstanding has really happened. Well I'm almost done here, so I´ll catch you all later I guess.

Elder Van

Army Bases, Stolen Dollars and Unkept Bets

Well I´ve finished off 4 weeks here in guat now. got a new batch of missionaries in from central/south america, and north america. they´re all pretty cool, but the old latinos are better. weird thing. one new hermana is from snohomish Washington (20 min from home) and another lived at pineview apartments at USU (same apartments as me) even though we neveer knew eachother. But aparently we were at a hot tub party together, so that´s actually pretty cool! Thinking about last week I just remembered how we saw the army base for Guat and it is a legit castle. Like huge castlewalls and everything. and the HQ for the guatamalen national team. Bunch of armed guards and shiz. it was pretty dope.

this week though, nothing has really changed, new teacher and new missionaries is really it. I was talking with this one Elder from Argentina and he really wanted to see a US dollar so I let him see it, then he kept it, but I though we had set up a trade so I could get an argentinan dollar in return. turns out he doesn´t have any... I wish I knew what was happening around here.

Oh and In one of my meetings with an "investigator" he started vigorously rubbing his eye as if he was trying to scrub potatoes. and he caught me of guard so I just busted. for ten minutes I could not talk anymore. my comp did everything and I just had to wait to leave. oh great fun. he´s my teacher and he is probably one of the funniest people I´ve eveer met. he also looks and smiles like nacho libre so it makes it even harder to keep a straight face.

Since I´m in prison and they control every aspect of my life, they told me to write stuff in spanish again.

Y socedio que yo Nefi dije a mi padre; ire y hare lo que el señor ha mandado porque se que nunca da mandamientos a los hijos de los hombres sin prepararles la via para ser cumplan lo que les ha mandado. 1 nefi 3:7

from memory. I think that´s pretty much right. Yeah me and that argentine that took my money cried together as both of our teams lost in the copa america. oh well I made a bet with he for 100$ that it would be US and Argentina in the 2018 world cup final. good thing I wont ever see him again, so I wont have to give him the money . . .

I always forget to write stuff that happened throughout the week then I remember then I forget once I get infront of the comp. so that´s fantastic. I don´t think anything outstanding has really happened. Well Im almost done here, so I´ll catch you all later I guess.

Adios, Elder Baug-han

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Going to the Market, Gun Shots and Earthquakes

All is well. bassically fluent in church talk. other than that I´m like a 3 year old. Today, they took us out to Guatemala city to give us a tour of a cathedral, talk to people, and go through the market. Me and my comp handed out 2 BOM and got rejected 3 times in a half hour. So I guess that´s good. We got their numbers down and gave them to missionaries in the area. Sadly though all the Latinos left this morning. They were honestly the coolest. and it sucks cause a bunch of white people are coming in. I hope there are gonna be some more dope latinos. But other than that, nothing is really knew. I directed priesthood meeting in Spanish. The latinos say I have a pretty good accent for a white guy, so that´s always nice. Also happy to hear that the USMNT is kicking butt in Copa America. Everyone else here is freaking out over basketball, but I couldn´t even care less about that. Wish the Sounders would step it up. Atleast I don´t have to watch it... Really don´t know what else to say. It´s all been pretty much the same. Gotta say I´m really greatful for the Army ROTC because I´m the first one up out of bed in the morning, and the last one to bed. It really did help me to endure long days and continue on through. Falling alseep with a noisy fan on and gunshots in the distance is nothing like falling asleep to artillery rounds going off nearby, and hellicopters flying over while trying to sleep on a pile of rocks. Also my alarm clock the other day was an earthquake, so that´s pretty dope (two mornings in a row). And no one else in my room woke up which was weird... Yeah hopefully these people coming in tomorrow are cool, cause those latinos were way cool. Al que cree todo le es posible
(some scripture in Mark that I don't remember)
Love you guys,
Elder Baug-han

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Real Investigators and a Spanish Testimony

Happy birthday Dad, you rock. Congrats. Well this week was pretty much the usual. Teaching without notes now which is hard but not too bad. And we were supposed to teach one of my teachers "friends" but then my other teacher later in the day said that appointment was canceled then the morning of the first teacher walked in and said "diego esta aqui" and so we had ten minutes to get ready then when we walked in to talk to him he was REAL. Like a real investigator, not just a teacher acting out as an investigator but a real dude. So that was pretty cool, it went alright I think but I don't know. Oh and I had to bless the sacrament this week in Spanish so that was something. Then I had to say opening prayer in preisthood also in Spanish so yeah. I'm speaking a ton of Spanish all the time. Umm... yeah nothing really new. My district is all cool and we all get along pretty well so that's always good. Nothing really new just because its the same old stuff. And yes it is a prison here. We legit only have an hour outside to work out. and once a week we walk half a block to the temple. That's it. Oh and because they control my life here in the MTC they told me to write my testimony in Spanish:
Yo se que El Libro de Mormón es la palabra de Dios, y que LDM fue tradujo mediante un profeta de Dios, Jose Smith. El Evangelio restaurado es le iglesia de dios. Yo se que el hijo de Dios, Jesucristo sufriro en la cruz por todos pecados de la tierra, parra que nosotros regresar con El, y con nuestros familias en la vida eterna. Este iglesia es la solamente verdadero iglesia en la tierra, y ustedes recibirá muchas bendiciones mediante la fe en Jesucristo Y Su expiación. En el nombre de Jesucristo amen. There you go kiddos. not perfect spelling and grammer but oh well, close enough. Not really sure what else there is. Apparently like 100 white people are flying in next week and all the latinos are leaving, so that´ll be just fantastic... I donno what else nothing has really changed.

Hasta luego
Kia kaha
Elder Jesse Vaughan

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

A Soccer Famine and Nacho Libre Busses

Nacho Libre busses everywhere. Armed guards everywhere. Its dope. The MTC doesn´t suck as much as I thought it would its really pretty good. No worries I´m safe. I´m being protected 24/7 by 2 armed guards and the only time I can go outside is for an hour of exercise. I am legit in a prison. A very nice prison. I flew to LA by myself and from LA to Guat I was with about 20 or 30 elders and hermanas. Didn´t sleep at all to LA and hardly to Guat because I sat by 2 crying babies. Its all been good though. They have me speaking Spanish pretty much one hundred percent of the time. Well as well as I possibly can. They just have a bunch of books and papers for us to study and memorize. So I can do church talk really well now, but not so much normal conversations. The Latinos are really nice and fun to talk with at meal times. They´re really funny and I can actually make them laugh. Its nice to know I´m funny in another language. They all think Vaughan is pronounced like ´Bawn´ and they laughed when I told them I want my kids name to be James so its like James bond. But the Spanish is good. I understood pretty much everything in sacrament meeting and yeah spiritual stuff is good too. All is well and the language is coming along pretty fast. missionary life isn´t too rough. the worst part is getting ready in under a half hour and having to take another man to the bathroom with me... and I'm proud of Lokey for killing the nest of bunnies. its good to know he isn´t completely worthless and old. Things are good though. My companion is a kid from Wyoming Elder Brightly. He´s aight. My district is 6 elders and 3 hermanas and we´re all pretty tight. Food is good. A little too good though, but at least they have a gym. They also have 2 basketball courts where you can play basketball and volley ball and they have soccer goals on them too. But guess what, NO SOCCER ALLOWED. WHAT KIND OF HISPANIC COUNTRY DOES NOT ALLOW YOU TO PLAY SOCCER. Yeah so I´m stuck with lifting weights and playing basketball I guess. Oh well I´ll get over it eventually. Don´t have anything else, but its good to hear from all of you. Also don´t send packages because Guatemala's mail system decided to break so I will not get any mail. maybe through UPS but even then I´m only here for a few short weeks. Sorry no pictures. I´m only allowed to take pics on P day and I cant send any here in the MTC so you´ll just have to wait another 5 weeks. and no worries I´ll be safe some Latinos said he gangsters wont shoot white men like me. 7 days down 723 to go. Kia Kaha ladies and gents.

Elder Vaughan "The only time we fail is when we stop fighting" -My teacher

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

A Safe Arrival in a Not-So-Safe Place

Hola Padres,

I made it to the MTC. I have no idea what´s going on, but whatever. Also I´m typing on a Spanish keyboard which kind of sucks. I was told to tell you to write me on Sundays and I´ll be writing back either on tuesdays or Wednesdays. Uh yeah pretty much it I guess Nothing else has really happened. Graffittied streets, armed guards outside the MTC and people trying to shine my shoes. Also a lot of "What..? They said I would have an hour to write next week so I´ll do that then. Love you guys. Adiós.

Elder Vaughan (Apparantly pronounced Vag-han)

Elder Vaughan's Farewell

We are blessed when we are obedient to the will of our Heavenly Father

As young children we all learn about obedience and the importance of following the rules set before us. This may be as simple as a parent telling you to pray before you go to bed, or no sneaking treats before dinner. It may take some of us a while to learn the importance of these rules and guidelines set out by our parents, but in due time we learn why we should be obedient at all times. Since I’m the youngest of three boys I was fortunate enough to learn from my older brother’s successes and failures. I saw that when they were disobedient, they were punished, and when they were obedient, they were rewarded.
Just like our parents, God has set forth commandments for each and every one of us to follow. When we follow these commandments, we are rewarded, and when we are disobedient, we are punished. President Thomas S. Monson said in May of 2013:

“He that keepeth [God’s] commandments receiveth truth and light, until he is glorified in truth and knoweth all things.”

This is an incredible promise, to “receive truth and light, until he is glorified in truth and knoweth all things.” Through this promise all of us can find the truth we are searching for as long as we follow the commandments and remain obedient in all our dealings. As we are obedient to the commandments of God, a knowledge of truth and the answers to our greatest questions come to us. These commandments are put in place so that we may follow them, and be able to successfully navigate through this difficult mortal life, and eventually return to our Heavenly Fathers presence.

As I’ve been preparing to go serve the people of El Salvador I have come to learn the importance of obedience not only now as I prepare but as well as in the mission field. The months before deciding to go on a mission I spent so much time contemplating when or if I should go. This was an incredibly difficult decision for me, but as I became more obedient and really tried to follow the commandments closer, the answer was revealed to me. By staying obedient at all times, I was able to really prayerfully consider this important decision that was ahead of me. Then began the process of submitting my mission papers, and receiving the call. Obedience didn’t stop once I decided to serve a mission, it still continues on today. For me to be a worthy missionary I must obey these commandments so that I can prayerfully study the scriptures and learn the doctrines that I will be teaching others. It would be difficult for me to teach with the Spirit and have the spirit with me at all times if I did not obey the commandments myself. It also helps prepare me for the lifestyle I will be living where I will be given my own set of mission rules and “commandments” of a sort and if I do not follow them to a point, not only will our success as a mission diminish, but I could also be put into spiritual and physical harm.

President Monson continued with:

“All prophets, ancient and modern, have known that obedience is essential to our salvation. Nephi declared, ‘I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded.’ Though others faltered in their faith and their obedience, never once did Nephi fail to do that which the Lord asked of him. Untold generations have been blessed as a result.”

I have always loved this example of Nephi where it was as simple as hearing the commandments and saying, “Yeah, I’ll do that”. I’ve recently been able to relate to Nephi in this aspect through my experience with Utah State Universities Army ROTC. There is one experience that comes to mind where we were walking through the vast mountains and fields of Utah practicing platoon movements, and my squad leader stopped me and told me to lay where we stood and provide security for our unit. To my dismay I looked down and saw a pile of deer ’droppings’, but I looked back at my squad leader and said “Yes Sir.” And laid down right where I was told to. How was I blessed in this experience? Well at the time I thought all I did was sacrifice five dollars that it would take to do laundry all for nothing. But the more I thought about it the more I realized the blessings that came through this experience was the trust I built with my squad members. They saw that I was dependable and they knew that they could count on me in all future missions. This is how Gods commandments work with us from time to time. We can be following very closely with what he has set forth for us and at times it may seem difficult to follow or we might not understand the purpose behind it, but eventually we will see what the blessings are. This is becoming increasingly hard in a world surrounded by so much wickedness, and the commandments we are supposed to follow go against the social norms. At times it may feel like we are sacrificing friendships or other great experiences, but if you stick to Gods commandments, you will receive marvelous blessings.

A great example of obedience in the scriptures is with Abraham and his son Isaac. In this passage of scripture Abraham is commanded by God to take his beloved son Isaac into the land of Moriah to offer him as a sacrifice. The pain and anguish Abraham must have felt would have been unbearable, but he continued on to bind Isaac, lay him on the altar, and take the knife to sacrifice him. Right before Abraham performed the sacrifice the Lord said; “Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him…” Abraham had been tried and tested, and for his faithfulness and obedience the Lord gave him this glorious promise: “In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.” Hopefully none of us will be commanded to sacrifice our first born at the altar, or any of our children for that matter, but we are commanded to do hard things in this life time, and I know that we will receive great and endless blessings if we choose to follow them to the best of our abilities.

The principle of obedience has been strongly professed by all prophets throughout history. There is one quote that I really like from President Gordon B. Hinckley. He said;
“The happiness of the Latter-day Saints, the peace of the Latter-day Saints, the progress of the Latter-day Saints, the prosperity of the Latter-day Saints, and the eternal salvation and exaltation of this people lie in walking in obedience to the counsels of God.”
I always hear people say “I don’t know what it is, but you Mormons are always so happy!” Personally I never really had a response, I would just shake it off and say, “Eh beats me”. Once I read this quote I realized where our happiness, peace, progression, and prosperity comes from. It comes from all of us members being strong diligent obedient members, doing what the Lord has commanded, and in the end, we are rewarded with great blessings. It is his promised blessings that make all of us happy members of the church. One key part at the end of President Hinckley’s quote is where it mentions our eternal salvation and exaltation. These are only possible through obedience in Gods Commandments. If we are not obedient to the Lord and his commandments we will not be able to receive exaltation and eternal salvation.

One way I have tried to improve my obedience is through daily habits. It all started with doing the small things like listening to my parents when I was a young boy. I remember every morning when I would make my way out the door to the bus stop my dad would tell me, “Don’t run with scissors, don’t eat the glue, and be nice to the girls!” I took these words to heart as I went running out to the bus stop, and I was blessed greatly for listening to my father. By not running with scissors… well as you can see, I still have my eyes and have not been seriously harmed in any other way. By not eating the glue I not only remained healthy, but I also remained embarrassment free. I managed to embarrass myself in other ways... And being nice to the girls has yet to reveal any blessings. That one I’m still waiting for those blessings and I’m holding on in faith that it will pay off in the long run. In all seriousness, following daily habits of obedience have continually helped me through life. The small daily habits that I just listed have grown to a larger picture in my life where it has helped prepare me to go on my mission. If it wasn’t for daily practice of obedience I would not be where I am today. I was never perfect at it, and I still am not, but I know that as long as I continue to strive for strict obedience, I will be blessed continually throughout my life.
Being obedient doesn’t only affect yourself, it can very easily affect those that surround you. This could be family, or friends, or those that you work with at church and work. Now if you know me, you’ll know that I love soccer, and soccer came to my mind when thinking about this. In a soccer match you have eleven players on each team. And each player receives their own instructions from the coach on what their duties are for the game. Defenders stay back and defend, midfielders help out with both defensive and offensive responsibilities, and forwards score the goals. Well that’s basically how it works. Within each of those different positions, players receive various instructions in order to orchestrate the success of the team. All it takes is one player to lead to the failure of the team. One player to be disobedient to the instructions given to them from the coach and the team could fail from their actions. At the same time, when players execute their instructions to perfection, they will score goals and win the game. I like to think of this when I think of obedience, because I see it all throughout my life. I see groups and organizations that work to perfection when they are obedient, and I see others crumble under their disobedience. This will definitely apply to me on my mission. I know that as me and my companions are obedient, we will be blessed to have the spirit with us, to be safe, and to have success wherever we travel. And if we are disobedient, we will not be able to teach with the spirit, we will not have success, and we could even be placed in dangerous situations. I know that being obedient in all times and in all places is incredibly important, not only for yourself, but for all that you are around so that everyone can be lead to success.

Among all of these examples, there is no greater example of obedience than that of our Savior. The Savior was tempted by the devil, He was physically weakened from fasting for 40 days and 40 nights, yet when the evil one proffered Jesus the most alluring and tempting proposals, He gave to us a divine example of obedience by refusing to deviate from what He knew was right. Through all the things the Savior had to go through, he was steadfast and obedient, never deviating. This great example continues when faced with the agony of Gethsemane, where he endured pain such that, “his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” He then exemplified the obedient Son by saying, “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” What a great example to us. Even though the Savior was facing the harshest of conditions, he still pushed on because he knew it was Gods will. President Monson said: “The knowledge which we seek, the answers for which we yearn, and the strength which we desire today to meet the challenges of a complex and changing world can be ours when we willingly obey the Lord’s commandments.”

I love this promise from our prophet, because the world we live in as he says is, “…Complex and changing…”, and to know that knowledge, answers, and strength we desire can be ours when we willingly obey the Lord’s commandments, is extremely profound and comforting to know.