Last Sunday we got to go up to Chijolom, about a 2 hour drive up further into the mountains, with the District President. It was then a 25 minute walk further up on a trail through a Cardamon field. Beautiful - but as always a little bit slippery! The primary teacher was a young 15 year old girl with great faith and about 8 children. Beautiful land, people and great faith. Coming back down one of the brethren cut me a pole to help me keep from slipping down the slope. It was exciting when climbing way up in the 4 wheel drive truck, coming around the corner on this one-lane road we met a logging truck coming down! They backed up a few feet and we went over to within a few inches of the drop off so they could come around!
We also went to the Chulak area this week to work for a couple of days, to get there and come back we went by bus, mini van, tuk-tuk, and part of the way on the back of a truck! While there we were able to cook and eat in the Elder´s apartment and we slept in one of the classrooms in the church. Chulak is way up in the mountains with people of amazing faith and a sky that seemed to hold every star available when darkness hit- especially since the people have no electricity to hide the beauty! Elder Spradlin was asked by an older couple to bless the wife who had had, (we think) a heart attack and had just gotten home from the hospital. The husband said he could tell Harold was a man of great faith and for that reason he wanted him to give the blessing. Sweet people! While there we also did a Primary and Young Women´s teacher training. One problem here is that the manuals are in Spanish, but many of the people only speak Qéqchi´, hard to know what to do if you can´t read the book!
On Wednesday we hiked back to Sepamac, a village further up the mountain - hiked up and then down in our boots through some mud in a mist, for over 2 hours to get there so we could start going up and down again to reach the homes of the saints we needed to visit. Before we had made it all the way I had figured out that I wasn´t going to be able to hike it back out, But the Lord blessed us and we were able to make all of the visits. Again the brethren used their knives and cut me a pole to get down one of the muddy slopes. In order to visit the last sister the Brethren wanted us to see we missed the one ride back up and out... Using my pole the other Elders from Chulac and us started the hike back out. By this point I was going on great faith, and leaning strongly on my pole the Brother had cut me. We had hiked for about 15 minutes when we saw a truck stopped, right at the beginning of the steep acent out. They gave us a ride part way out, over the highest part of the summit, on the back of their truck! Oh how grateful I was. Over the top and part way down, the rest was possible. With a break for supper we were able to go out again in the evening. My miracle was that I was able each time to get up and walk again even though I knew it was not my own strength I was using. The next day we had to walk a lot more and visit a town called Panzos. Waking up in the morning I felt no pain whatsoever and again was grateful to a Very Loving Heavenly Father!
Elder Spradlin noticed that in Sepamac, as we sat in a home with an unlevel dirt floor, with large rocks in the middle of the room. The house held up by sticks, large cracks in between holding up the roof. As he watched the smoldering fire from the earlier breakfast built on the ground, we could still feel the spirit of the Lord and the strength of the Sister as she bore her testimony while sitting on the edge of the table so that we could use her benches to rest on. The faith of these people here is overwhelming, awe-inspiring and leaves us in awe.