Well, here I am in the mission field and out of the jail we call the MTC! So some information about my first area. My companion is Elder Tzub and he is a native to Coban, Guatemala and he has been out on his mission for 21 months and has only 3 more to go. He is a pretty good trainer and is trying to help me with my Spanish when I need it. My first area is in Catarina next to Tecun and Malacatan.
Our apartment is a pretty decent size and there are 4 of us missionaries who live there. There are a lot of spiders, cockroaches, and other bugs in general. Our bathroom, we have a functioning toilet, the shower we have a hole in the wall with a PVC pipe and sprays out a stream of freezing cold water which I don’t mind because a cold shower feels really nice in the heat here. So 2 days ago I already got bedbugs (which are common here) so that was awesome – not!
The people here speak really, really, really, really fast Spanish and 99% of the time I cannot understand what anyone is saying so that’s not really that fun. However I am teaching a good amount in Spanish during lessons or at least trying to.
The area I am in is pretty rough and pretty poor. We visited a couple of investigators and one of them lives on a concrete slab, has some plywood as walls but not much and a single light that flickers on and off occasionally. And one night they went into the town because they live quite a ways out, and bought us some coke and some snacks for us to enjoy and that was really humbling knowing that they pretty much have nothing but are still willing to feed us as well.
We have to walk everywhere as well most of the time and sometimes we walk for 30-45 minutes to someones house to teach them. We sometimes take tuc-tucs which are small red motorcycles with a covering on top and 2 seats in the back and those are really fun to drive in because they weave in and out of different cars and the drivers here are nuts and there are pretty much no rules or laws with driving.
The pure water we drink here comes in small bags that we just keep in our fridge and grab them and drink them. We have eaten at a few members houses and they give us tortillas, rice, beans, occasionally meat and really good juices to drink as well.
So my first Sunday here which was a Fast Sunday I thought I was going to pass out because I felt so dehydrated but I somehow survived, haha. Being in the field has been hard physically, emotionally, and spiritually but I am trying my best here. Oh and we already have 2-3 people committed to baptism in 2 weeks so that is pretty exciting and hopefully some more of our investigators will commit as well.
Last Saturday we were walking home and a drunk guy called out to me ''I speak English, can you understand me American?',' in very bad english so that was pretty funny and I said ''No, yo se Espanol, no Ingles.''. It gets really hot here during the days and I sweat just about constantly and the sun sets here at 5:30 every night which is nuts so when teaching we are walking in the dark and one investigator we have, their lights go out and has 1 candle on their floor so when teaching them my companion pulled out his flashlight and that's how we saw scriptures we were reading. However, the people here are just so happy with what they have and don't seem to complain.
There are stray dogs and cats everywhere but we haven't had any chase us so far so that’s good. For P-Day today we went to Tecun and played some futbol with our zone until I kicked the ball over the fence so we couldn't play. Of course, leave it to the Gringo to ruin soccer for all the Latinos right? After that we went to the store in Malacatan and shopped for food for the week. There were probably 20-30 missionaries there from several zones to shop and eat and there I saw my companion from the MTC so that was really cool running into him and talking to him. I mainly bought Frosted Flakes, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, leche, y yogurt. Man there goes my Spanglish again! That has been happening a lot. Ok so during a lesson with investigators I started talking and was speaking English to them and then I caught myself and couldn't believe that happened! It was a little embarrassing but I brushed it off and started to speak again in Spanish. You guys have any ideas for what I need to do when I can’t understand what others are saying and I need to respond to them?
That is crazy how dad got called to be the Elder Quorum President in the Spanish Branch! Buenas Suerte Papa! You will do great, I know it! I’m glad to hear that Connor made the basketball team and he is going to kill it out there on the cancha (court). Glad to hear also that you are all doing really great and and are having a great time and thanks for the updates with everything! Take care everyone and I am keeping you in my prayers! Stay Sweet!
Here is my new address (please send letters everyone):
Misión Guatemala Retalhuleu
Boulevard Centenario, Zona 2, Salida a Coatepeque
Apartado Postal No. 26