Fabian Arnoldo Guit Batz of Sololá, Guatemala

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Fabian Arnoldo Guit Batz of Sololá, Guatemala

High in the volcanic mountains that surround Lake Atitlán in Guatemala lies the city of Sololá. Fabian Arnoldo Guit Batz * (12) has called it home all his life, as have his father and grandfather. They are Cakchiquel Indians.

Although the family has lived here for a long time, it is a pioneer family—Fabian’s grandfather was the first member of the Church baptized in Sololá. Since that time the Church has grown. Fabian’s family goes to Esperanza Branch in the Sololá District. His father is the elder’s quorum president, and his mother is the district Primary president. They hope that their district will soon become a stake and their branch a ward.

Fabian and his family are very close. At home he works with his sister, Ana (21), and his mother spinning wool into yarn, then winding the yarn to sell to weavers. Everyone in the family helps keep the house clean. He and his brothers also helped finish their new home, which they will move into soon.

Fabian’s family prays and reads the scriptures together each day. “It makes us feel closer to each other,” he said. His favorite scripture story is about Nephi returning to Jerusalem with his brothers for the brass plates. “Nephi’s brothers weren’t happy about obeying their father, but Nephi wanted to obey his father and kept trying to get the plates until he succeeded,” Fabian said. “We need to show respect for our parents and grandparents like Nephi did by being obedient.”

Fabian and his brothers and sister were sealed to their parents in the Guatemala City Temple. “Being sealed was like something God gave us to bring our family closer to Him and to each other,” Fabian said.

The Guit family hopes someday to do temple work for their ancestors. “Although we know the names of many of them, no birth and death records for the Cakchiquel people were kept until recently, so it is very hard to do family history,” Brother Guit said.

The family is also close at church. “Practically every Sunday Fabian is the only deacon to pass the sacrament,” his brother Victor (19) said. “Our brother Miguel (15) often prepares the sacrament, and another brother, Julio (17), blesses it.”

At school the gospel is very much a part of Fabian’s life. “I always pray for help when I have tests. I am not frightened to take tests that I have prayed about.”

“Fabian always studies hard,” Ana said. He is grateful for the opportunity to go to school. Although the schools are public schools, you have to pay a fee to attend. If you don’t have the money, you can’t go to school. Not all the children in Fabian’s branch are able to go to school, because their families aren’t able to pay the fees. Fabian hopes that he can complete his education and become a math teacher.

None of Fabian’s friends at school are members of the Church. “Many of them think we pray to and worship Joseph Smith. I explain to them that that isn’t true. They sometimes ask me questions about the Church, and I answer them the best that I can. I like to tell them about the scriptures, especially about the Book of Mormon and what it teaches.”

He also tries to be a good example to his friends. “One time in my class at school, the teacher had a bag of candy on her desk. The candy was for the school to sell. When the teacher wasn’t in the classroom, some of my friends wanted to steal some of the candy. I felt the Holy Ghost telling me that it was the wrong thing to do, so I told my friends that it was wrong and that I would not do it. All the other children in the class decided not to take any, either.”

Helping others is very important to Fabian, not just because it is a commandment, but because “it makes me feel good inside.”

“Once, when I was seriously ill,” Miguel said, “I had to stay in bed all the time. Fabian is the one who came and sat with me and kept me company and took care of me.”

Fabian is also helping with an elder’s quorum project. There is a sister in their branch whose husband died five years ago. Later she joined the Church. Her family disowned her and refused to help her and her two daughters. The branch is building them a home. Fabian helps work on the house with the elders. Sometimes the full-time missionaries and the young people in the branch also help. Fabian shovels sand to make cement, and under the direction of the elders, he helps with the building and cleaning up. He is happy when he is helping others.

“We love Fabian,” said Brother Guit. “I think we all have a special feeling toward him because he is the youngest in the family. He is so helpful to others. He studies the scriptures because he loves them and wants to be prepared when he goes on a mission.”

“He has a great respect for us, his parents,” Sister Guit said. “I like that he comes to me when he needs help with his schoolwork or in preparing a talk for church.”

“I think the most important things I can do,” Fabian said, “are to obey my parents and to keep Heavenly Father’s commandments.”

[photos] Photos by Julie Wardell

[photo] 1 The people of each Guatemalan city weave a different pattern of cloth. This red fabric is woven by the Cakchiquel people of Sololá.

[photo] 2 Spinning wool into yarn

[photo] 3 Helping build a home for a widowed sister in the branch

[photo] The Guit family

Show References

  1.   *

    In Guatemala, as in many Spanish-speaking countries, the father’s surname is followed by the mother’s maiden name. Fabian’s father’s last name is Guit. His mother’s maiden name is Batz.