HI! Guess what? I am still alive, barely ha-ha. No it has been awesome, my first area is called Chiantla. It is a pretty ghetto little city about 2 and a half hours in a bus from Xela. You can probably find it on Google earth; look for the big white letters on the hill. I will explain more about those later.
We left Tuesday morning and it took forever to get to Xela so we were only in the mission home for about an hour or two (still haven’t seen the temple, probably wont for a long time), had a quick meeting and interviews, met our comps and left. My dad is Elder Conte, he is from Panama and has about 18 months in the field so he is pretty old, and he is actually really old, he had his compleaños this week, turned 25 ha-ha. He speaks a little English, but never uses it. The only English I have heard all week is ¨freak¨ which everyone says all the time ha-ha. I was a little surprised, must be a word in Spanish too.
Our apartment is pretty nice; we live under the house of a lady who knows the bishop or something. It is only four rooms, but we have a little fridge and stove, but we don’t really cook very much. We do have a shower, and until about yesterday, I thought it only had cold water, but my comp finally showed me the trick on how to make it not cold, but not hot either ha-ha. It’s manageable.
It is really really dusty here (I have had to wear my glasses every day), every morning when we are studying the lady upstairs starts hosing the house down, I asked my comp what she was doing and he looked at me really weird and said ¨washing the house¨ in that, uhh how did you not know, kind of way ha-ha. Guess its pretty normal here.
We have only taught one lesson in a house though, we are always out in the boonies teaching people that live in shacks, its pretty sad. This last week we have been really busy, we have few really good investigators, we have one family of 6, but no dad. Everyone is ready for baptism but the mom. She doesn’t know how to read so that has been a little bit of a struggle. Something kind of sad though is one of the girls is younger than I am and has 2 kids, kind of crazy. And one of them is a baby who is either a) crying b) sleeping c) breast feeding, or some combination of the three. Doesn’t matter if we are teaching a lesson, in church, etc. Constantly. That would be a rough life for an 18-year-old girl.
We usually eat with members, it is usually really really good, but we have also had some...questionable things. One time we had pig brain soup. Or sheep. Can’t really remember, just that it was some kind of brain. I would have to take a drink of water, keep the water in my mouth, take a bite of the meat, and then swallow ha-ha. They feed us like were starving too, it is so humbling to see these people that are so poor literally stuff us with their food. I am pretty sure I have opened up a few extra chambers in my stomach that I didn’t know existed, because we eat until I feel like there is rice coming out my nose.
Something that has surprised me a little bit though, I have yet to eat beans. Just a lot of meat and rice. But really for the most part it has been delicious. One of these days, I will try and send some pics of it. We went to Quilinca or something like that, it was waaaay up in the mountains, and it was awesome. So beautiful. We went with one of the YM in the ward here, his name is Delmar but we call him Chema, don’t know why or what that means, but he is leaving on his mission to San Salvador in March, so I will be pretty sad when he leaves. He is so cool. I was told I will be here with my trainer for 2 changes, and then I will train (uhhhh) someone in the same area for 2 more changes. Yeah, so I should be here in Chiantla for about...6 months. That’s crazy. One week down!
On Saturday we went and did ¨service¨ ha-ha, we went and painted the letters on the hill that spell ¨Chiantla¨, but they didn’t bring enough paint mix for the water, so we basically washed rocks with white water for a few hours ha-ha. Oh well, it is the thought that counts right?
That night was a little strange too, we got a call from the bishop, who is awesome, but is an ex evangelical pastor who is a little on the crazy spiritual side. We went and visited a member’s house. I couldn’t exactly understand what the problem was; the words everyone was saying were a little weird. But I got really freaked out when like all 20 people who were in this house all knelt down in a circle, held hands, and had about a 20-minute prayer. Followed by like a 3-hour lecture by the bishop. We didn’t get home till like 10 at night, keep in mind also, I had zero idea what was going on, what the problem was, nothing. Just sat there like the cute little North American I am, looking cute. After we got home, we got out my dictionary and translated some words so my comp could tell me what had just happened. Apparently the member, this like 60 year old man, was having problems with ghosts, praying to devils, and got a blessing from the temple president or something. I am still confused ha-ha. He kept holding up this giant yellow bottle too. Not sure what that was about. I was hoping it wasn’t urine, but it was pretty similar looking and smelling to urine.
P-day today has been pretty awesome too, we met up with the zone and played basketball, that was soooo nice. It was nice to speak some English too. My DL is the only other Norte in our district, he seems pretty awesome, his name is Hales, we apparently might be doing some splits soon so that would be soooo nice. He only has 3 months in the field though so idk, maybe not since neither of us speak Spanish ha-ha. But we all went and got food and now we’re all emailing together.
And that’s where I am, you guys are all caught up ha-ha. I haven’t gotten any mail since I have been here, or in the last month ha-ha, but that’s alright, thanks for your emails, keep giving me the news, it is nice to hear from you. I will try and send some photos in another email, love you mom, talk to you in a week.