Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Hey mom,
That’s pretty awesome about the store. You’ll have to send me photos of it when you get it all fixed up. Funny thing about Barry Mcgee, we had stake conference here this weekend and all of the senior missionaries where there too. One of them walked up to me and asked me where I was from, so when I told him Farmington, New Mexico he was just kind of giving me this weird look and then he says, “I am from there, born and raised.” He said that he hasn’t lived there for like 20 years, but that he was a best friend with Barry and they played basketball at FHS together. His last name was James, but he said he didn’t know a Bob James. Just thought of how small of a world this is that even in some remote city in Guatemala I can run into somebody who knows somebody I know.

We had a really good week here; we have a baptism coming up this weekend and some other investigators that are coming along so hopefully I will stay here for longer than 3 weeks.

It is still rainy season. The hurricane is gone now which is nice, but its still rains every day from about 3 in the afternoon until we go to bed. They say it’s like that till the end of September, but I'm just kind of used to it now.  It’s not really a big deal. We just carry umbrellas with us all day every day and that’s about all you need. If it’s really windy I will use my rain jacket but that is pretty rare.

Like I said before the area is tiny tiny. It takes about three or four minutes to walk from one side to another, so it can be a little boring at times because there is not a ton that we can do if we don’t have appointments planned.  The bishop banned us from contacting because we will burn out the area in a day or two if we just go around knocking doors, so we have had to be a little creative to fill the time. The family I was telling you about last week, the really really poor one, we do a lot of service for them. Since they don’t have lights or water in their house, they have to cook with fire, so we like to climb up the mountain with our machetes and cut firewood for them. My hands are super blistered right now because one day for an hour straight we were going at this tree but we actually cut it down. It’s pretty sweet actually, you feel like Rambo walking through the forest in Guate macheteing trees and stuff.

I am looking forward to the flea collars because this house has fleas too. I think it’s all of the houses. Our house here is insanely tiny, but I really like it because its super easy to clean. Its just one room, and then in the corner is kind of walled off the bathroom, but not really. The whole house is about as big as the living room in the basement. It’s basically just beds, desks, and fridge. We don't have anywhere to put our clothes so we put them in the cupboards where the dishes should go. But like I said, super easy to keep it clean so I really like it.

This p-day was pretty cool though; my comp and I went with one of the other gringos in my district to play basketball in the morning with the members from the other gringo’s ward. It was soooooo nice to play basketball and not soccer ha-ha. I miss basketball. And then after that we climbed, well actually ended up paying a bus to take us to the top, of the mountain here. It’s called Baúl also, hence the name of my area. There is a park on top that is cool and we did a barbeque with the whole zone and everything. They have a giant cross (of course) at the top that looks over the city; it was really pretty and quiet. It was kind of nice to get out of the concrete jungle for a little bit.

After that we had to go to the hospital and take some tests for my comp. He has amoebas I am pretty sure. Sounds fun right? Its not that bad though, it just means that he gets explosive boo, the only bad thing is like I said, we live in a one room house, and the bathroom is just kind of in the corner. Provides some comedy actually.

I left my camera charger in my old area, but my old comp said he was going to leave it in the mission office. So when my camera is charged again I will send some videos and stuff of the guitar. 8 months of playing everyday, I have learned quite a bit actually. Anyways, nothing super cool happened this week that I can think of. Love you moms, have a good week.

Monday, August 13, 2012


Hey Moms,
Yeah time does really seem to start going faster and faster. I was soooo stoked to hear about the Olympics. Its good to be from the best country in the world. Sorry China. Even more stoked that I will be home for the next winter Olympics, the one that really matters. 

As for me, I don't really like being dl because that just means that I have to stay up really late with dats and phone calls and stuff, things that are not more important than sleeping. I am not really interested in leadership positions in the mission but eh, if pres wants me to do something its not like I can say no ha ha. There is one other gringo in my district, but he is in his last change and is just kind of dead, not as bad as some of the other missionaries I have known who have gone home, but still, pretty fried. 

My comp has one more month than I do. He is from Mexico and is like the 4th or 5th missionary from his family. He has been a member all his life. He has a twin brother in Honduras right now. I thought that was pretty cool. It's kind of strange for Mexicans to come to central America actually. They usually just stay in Mexico or go to Argentina or Chile. We play a lot of guitar together which is pretty sweet, good way to pass the time at night waiting for phone calls. 

Don't know if you noticed or not but I had kind of a big purchase last week on my card. I bought a new guitar and sold my old one. I bought a really sweet Fender, I plan on keeping it for a really long time.

This week was kind of rough, there was a hurricane or something, that is just what everyone was saying, not sure if they were just saying that or what, but it rained literally all day every day. Today has been the first time I have seen the sun and it is hotter than Africa right now. This Sunday was really sweet though, when we were in priesthood meeting, the bishop got up and starting talking. He was telling everyone how this kid in our ward who leaves on his mission this week, his name is Hector, and how he was short some money to buy all the things he needed. I love this kid, he has such a sad story, he is a convert to the church, and he is also an orphan. He lives with a friend who is less active but introduced him to the church. He literally pays for everything, he was studying and working and barely getting by so he could save for his mission. He got his call and everything but after trying to buy all his stuff he found out he was short of money to buy clothes and a suit and stuff. The bishop asked the ward to help 
him out, he needed about 600 more quetz in order to buy the things he needs. Literally right after he said that members of the ward just stood up, walked over to him, and started handing him money. We were sitting right next to him so I could see what the people were giving him. Almost everyone was giving him 100 or 200 quetz, yeah for the states that is not much, but here people can eat for a week on less than that. It was super humbling to see people so poor be so generous with there money to help some kid who really really needed it. I was basically holding back tears. He easily got 2000 quetz from the ward. We as missionaries get 1400 quetz a month, and we live waaay better than most of the people here. 

And then at like 3 we went and visited some recent converts. When we walked up to their house we could see them outside working in their cornfield. When we got closer we could tell something wasn't right, and we walked up and could see that someone had come through and knocked over the larger part of their little corn field. They had been working since they had gotten out of church because if it gets knocked over and you put it up soon enough the corn wont die, it will just start growing again, but if you leave it long enough its all gone. My first thought was what kind of an idiot would come and just knock down someones cornfield, like why would that even cross your mind. But my comp and I just said we would cancel all our other appointments started to help. We worked until about 730 last night just putting these corn stalks back in the ground, and then mounding up enough dirt so that they wouldn't fall over again. It sucked ha ha, I would never want to be a farmer. But the whole time I was just kind of thinking to myself, this will be these peoples food, their source of money, all the time and effort they had put into it, and someone would just come and destroy it like that, for no apparent reason either. After we had finished we went into their house, it was dark, and this family is suuuuper poor. Their house is just one room that is full of beds, they have no water or light. We were just sitting there kind of talking with the family and they just had one candle in the middle of the room. I still was just thinking about what kind of jerk would come over and do this to a family like this and the Mom started talking. She was talking about how when they got home from church and found out what happened her first instinct was she just wanted to cry, after that she said she was really really angry and wanted to find out who did it, and then she said she sat down and really started to think about it, and how before she knew the church she would have just never let that go and always been mad about it, but then she said that because she had learned about Christ and the Church, that she had learned there was a better way to handle everything. She said because of the church her husband who was a drunk, now has a job, started to love and treat his kids better. That is what the church taught her too. She was just saying how it doesn't even matter who or why they would do that, she just had to love them anyways. I was just kind of like, woah. This is this ladies food. This is this ladies food for her children. I was mad at the person who had done it and I would literally not be affected by it at all, and to this lady, she could just let it go and move on just like that. Really put me in my place ha ha, to see things from a perspective like that. Its days like that that make all the hell worth it. Super cool. Anyways, love you guys, I took some photos a few days ago with the family of this lady so I will attach them. Have a good week. 


PS, I am glad you watched the pig video, that's my life mom...
and the pic of me and my comp, that is our bread turtle we bought, so good.

Friday, August 10, 2012


Soooooo disappointed in you right now. Seriously. Give me the scoop on all the Olympics, and you don’t even mention that the first Guatemalan EVER won a medal this week? Not a gold medal, but a medal nonetheless... Seriously, Guate won its very first medal ever this week, and you didn’t even notice?? It was such a big deal here ha-ha. We had ward correlation with our mission leader this week and he cancelled, while we were there, and forced us to watch it. He literally would not let us leave his house. If you still don’t remember what event it was, I will refresh your memory. He won silver in the 20km power walk. Ha-ha. Kind of some serious stuff too, everyone started shooting off fireworks and stuff. The Sunday school lesson was given about this guy. I was getting some serious memory throwbacks of jimmer fever. It was a cool story though, the guy is like 20 years old and is from this really really small aldea. (aldeas are like 100, 200 people tops) Gave me some Chapin (nickname for Guatemalans) pride. 

Keep me updated on the basketball too, someone was trying to tell me we lost to Argentina or something but I didn’t really believe him. The U.S. doesn’t lose.

 Anyways, for my changes, I am now in an area in Xela called Baúl. It’s in the 3 Xela zone so now I know all of Xela. It is the smallest area in the mission. It's 5 blocks. That’s it, 5 streets. I can walk from one side of my area to the other in 2 minutes. Suuuuper tiny. But there are 180 active members in the ward, so yeah, there are about 50 people in the area that are not members of the church. It’s kind of strange. We are not allowed to contact because the bishop doesn’t want us to burn out those few people that are left, so we just go around and help and teach the members and work off of references.  We have a few investigators too so its not all that bad. My new comp is from Mexico. His name is Elder R (everyone in the ward calls him power ranger). He is really really cool. He is Elder G’s (my mtc comp) trainer. He is a super quiet and humble guy, but really knows a lot about the church and stuff and is a really good teacher. All the members LOVE him too. I am scared that when he gets changed the members are going to throw up from crying so hard (that’s the phrase that people use here). But he just baptized a full family this last change and so the members love him even more for that. 

I am the district leader here too so that is cool I guess. All it means to me is  that I have to stay up really late waiting for all the missionaries to send me their stats for the day. But other than that, nothing much else is going on here. 

Sorry I don’t have any photos this week, we didn’t take any. I will try and take some this week. Landon sent me an email finally, from his missionary address too. Ahhh that is sooo crazy. I am sooo stoked for him, he will be such a stud missionary. Such a good kid. Also all the photos from Atlanta...whelp, I'll just say, that made me suuuuuper trunkey. Sooooooo jealous. 

I can’t believe school is starting again though, like we are in August, that just kind of dawned on me, that is strange...But anyways, looks like Atlanta was fun. If you think people dressed crazy there, you should see some of the people here. They just buy clothes from Salvation Army and stuff that is like all 80s and stuff. Pure style. 

Anyways, kind of a slow week this week, not much to fill you in on. 
Love you guys, talk to you next week.


Hey moms,
Buckle up, big surprise. I have changes. Yeah my comp is going to train, and all the ap´s would tell me is that I have changes ¨for a reason, and that I am going far.¨ Uhhhh. That scares me. I feel like they are going to send me to open up a really hard area or something since I know how to open since I have done it twice. Or that I am going to be with a really tough comp or something. I couldn’t really believe it. I am not mad or frustrated it's just like, dang, its hard to really get anything going in an area when I am only there for 3 weeks. Hopefully I will spend a little more time here in this area. Tomorrow morning I have changes and will figure it out where and with whom, so you will have to wait until next week to get the update. There is a kid in my zone right now, he just got done getting trained, he is going to train, and he has changes. So his first time as senior comp he has to train and open an area. I feel sooo bad for the kid ha-ha. That would be the only thing worse than having 4 areas in 7 weeks like me, or not, they both suck.

For news this week; I got sick. Sick sick sick. It was crazy, I won't go into details because trust me you do not want to know ha-ha. But after about a day and a half in bed I was back to being brand new. A lady in our ward gave us these things called "paches", they are like these giant wet tamales that are super gross. But she fed us those and it destroyed me. 

Then on Saturday, I uploaded this video to youtube, because I feel like if you didn’t see the video you really wouldn’t believe what happened. We went at 5 in the morning to help a less active member kill, skin, and gut his pig. It's what he does for work and so he invited us to help him as service ha-ha. It was the craziest thing I have ever done in my life, we had to say yes just for the experience, like you cannot say no to an opportunity like that. I will warn you though, if you get a little woozy with gore, don’t watch. Make Alex watch though. I wasn’t fazed by it at all, maybe I should be a surgeon... but seriously, coolest thing I have ever done. We literally went from watching Wilbur run around his pen, to being hogtied, to being ready to cook as bacon. Watch the video though, you probably will be grossed out, but yeah, this is missionary work in Guate ha-ha.

I always feel that it is a little crazy too that Liv is only 15, I for sure thought she was older, but she does act and look a lot older than 15, but hey, she did have the best example in the world growing up so that had to attribute a little bit, right?  Also this whole chipper Jones thing. Sorry, but I think a little bit of my soul died when I read all that. I think I probably would have been a little better off not knowing that...I am so jealous. Not fair. We are going to Canada when I get home, there are no mountains in England, why would I want to go on a vacation to a place I cant go skiing? Can you even count it as a vacation if you don’t go skiing? Not in my book. 

We were in Xela on Friday because my comp had some training for training and we were just walking around with some other elders, and on all the TVs it was showing the opening ceremonies in England. It's so weird that the world is just happening out there, idk I just don’t really feel like anything is happening anywhere since nothing happens here. Such a strange thought. Other than that though, just same old same old. Tell Dayoung happy birthday for me!
Love you guys, talk to you next week.