Sorry, we are here kind of early this week. My comp had to get some last minute things done pretty early in the office today, so I thought I would take advantage and get my emailing done. My comp goes home on Tuesday. He is baggy to say the least. It will be nice to have a comp that isn't so focused on going home... he is a good guy and all, It’s just kind of hard hearing about him going home.
This week was good. My office doesn't have air conditioning. The only places that have air conditioning in this country are McDonalds and the temple. But it’s cool enough in my office that it isn't a big deal. I don't have any windows or anything so its always kind of hard to tell what the weather is like outside, but like I said, it usually feels pretty good in here anyways. Xela is like the Seattle of Central America. It has really dreary drizzly weather and I always have really liked that. It’s never too hot like Huehue and it always is just kind of overcast and brisk outside. I think its because it has a really high elevation and it’s just surrounded by volcanoes and mountains that seem to attract the clouds. It’s a really pretty city, we will all have to come back and visit.
I got my release plan this week also, I talked to the travel secretary about it and it’s not exactly set in stone yet, but from what it looks like I will be getting home on the 26 of December. Sorry, looks like we will just have to move Christmas back one more day this year, honestly it’s not a big deal at all. It was a little surreal that I received that though. Like it has not really set in yet that I am getting kind of old in the mission. I still feel like I am really young. I didn’t even realize until a day or two afterwards that I had passed the 20 month mark. Crazy. Time does go really fast in the office though, there are some slow parts of the day, but it passes really fast, and then when we get out at night we are running to try and get the most appointments in that we can so the nights fly by too.
I am so sick of our house though. I think I mentioned last week that I hated it. That’s an understatement; I loathe this house. It’s miserable. The stupid geese and roosters and doves that live right outside our one window wake me up every single day at like 4:30 or 5 with their noise. I don’t get why these people that live right in the middle of a giant city have to have their mini farm right outside my window. The dead noise of the city doesn’t even bother me. Like the cars and the horns and all that, I can sleep through no problem. But three geese doing their crazy geese scream at 5 in the morning kills me.
I don’t think I had any major mess ups on my parts at least this week. It’s nothing crazy the work, it’s just lots of computer stuff. The church has a really good system for keeping track of all of the missionary funds and information and stuff. That makes my life pretty easy. The only thing that can be difficult at times is Guatemala. Like yesterday for example, we had a lady that is going to cook all the food for some multi zone conferences, and she came in to pick up her checks to buy all the food and stuff. One thing about Latin America, the people have like 50 names. This lady that came in that I wrote the checks to, her had three first names, four last names, and three of the four last names have a de in front of the last names (like de Leon). Needless to say… ridiculous. So in order to print out checks I have to use the system of the church, and add her as a vendor, so when I write a check out to her, it has to have the full name of the lady. But when it comes to printing the check, it automatically only prints so many letters in the check. Well this ladies name was so long that her final last name, which was de Almazán, didn’t fit. So it just said de Alma. Close enough right? Wrong, she went to the bank and tried to cash the six checks we had written her, and they wouldn’t accept them, and they wouldn’t give them back to her without basically voiding them so that she wouldn’t ¨alter¨ the checks in her name so that she could cash them. She came back with all the checks they had basically destroyed and asked what I could do about it. So I called the bank and told them what had happened and they put me on hold for like half an hour. Finally they get back on the line and tell me that since the name wasn’t exact, it could have been someone else trying to cash the checks and so they couldn’t cash them. That’s reasonable, I understood, but then I tried to explain to them that her name was too long and that it wouldn’t fit on the check, and so I asked if I could hand write her the check, they said no, it had to be typed or the name could be changed and someone else could cash the check. So I was just trying to ask the bank what we could do so that she could cash the checks. Basically nothing. Not unless this lady decides to change her name can I write a check in her name. They wouldn’t even accept if I went down there in person and approved that this was the lady who would be cashing the check that I had written out even though only three letters were missing from her last last name. Like what are the odds there is another person on this planet that has 6 out of 7 of this ladies names exactly the same, and that in the seventh name, its only missing three letters. What are the odds of that?
So frustrating, so I then had to go back through and cancel and void all six of the checks that we had written out, and while I was in the process, the power in the city went out. When it came back on, I started the process over, but the firewall in the building had gone down. So they called the IT guy and he came in, and while fixing the firewall, the Internet crashed. So we went the whole day without Internet until about 6:30 when they could get it all back on. Like I said, my job isn’t really what gives me headaches, its more Guatemala that gives me headaches. I still don’t know what to do about those dumb checks either...
Well, that’s how my life is right now. Things are good though, I love being in Xela, and it’s such a cool place. We have eaten really well this week. Sometimes the senior couple brings down some food or some desserts. President’s wife is always bringing us in desserts and cake too. I’m going to go home so fat.
Hope that you are all okay and everything is good there. I love you all and will talk to you next week.