Guatemala City, Guatemala
January 2th 2011
"The power of letters"
You have no idea how grateful I am to be writing you.
Yesterday was our day to e-mail and I was SOOOOOO excited, however my e-mail [account] would not let me in! I cannot explain to you how horrible was to experience sitting here while everyone else was writing their families... and I could not.
The pain was excruciating.
However, after a little more difficulty, obviously, I got on![Today my hero is the man in charge of this computer lab who helped me to get 'in'. or 'On'...whatever]
Thank you so much for your e-mails, they mean SO much! I don't think I ever thought missionary work was so hard, and if you thought I underestimated the power of letters from friends and family before... I can't even express how much appreciation I have for them now.
[As a side thing,letters fromdearelder.comto the Guatemala MTCare still free,it's pouchmail,and they get hereA LOT fasterthan real mail]
"Life in Guatemala"
It's crazy, I hate it. I love it. I want nothing more than to sleep in the warmest fluffiest bed for the rest of all eternity, and yet... I wouldn't give this up for the world...
It is rare to find someone completely fluent in English, which is partly a curse, but more so a blessing.
I am a complete contradiction because I feel as if I am living in both, Heaven and Hell, at the same time...
But perhaps I should stop talking about how I feel and give you more of my experiences
"The CCM (MTC in Spanish!)"
I am so happy I got to call you in the airport, [Don't ask me to describe] my last days in Provo, cause I can't remember them!
Arriving here was an adventure.
There was a man from the CCM (MTC in Spanish) and his brother to pick us up, they didn't speak much English but we understood alright and we made it [to the MTC (or CCM) safely.
Our welcoming committee was SMALL. Just a district was here because in the CCM here missionaries report every three weeks and it just recycles every three weeks so they only people here were the North-Americans who still have three more weeks... (I hope I explained that clearly)
...Anyway, on Wednesday the rest of the Latinos came . There are, total, about 30 hermanas in this CCM and maybe 50-ish Elders.
It really is like a big family here. I already recognize most of everyone's faces in the CCM.
About the second day I got here, this group of Elders told me that every-time they see my name it reminds them of their parents and makes them homesick. So now every-time they see me they exclaim 'Pappas!' and start pretending to cry, it's quite amusing!
"Christmas in Guatemala"
I loved it!
It was so great! blue skies, white fluffy clouds, 70 degrees!
On Christmas [eve] everyone shoots off fireworks, it's bigger than the fourth of July! From about midnight to five in the morning it's pretty much straight fireworks.
We still had to go to bed at 10:30... and we were blessed with sleep through the rockets .
At 6:30 am we were up and spent the next 2 1/2 hours cleaning up [all the exploded] fireworks in the streets...there was one pile that took us almost an hour to clean up because there were so many little pieces of paper! And it was all mixed with rocks and dirt! Insane! Really fun!
Then we watched about a million and one movies...including a Christmas Carol...the one with Jim Carrey...Yeah! they decided that because Thomas S. Monson said he watches that movie every Christmas it was OK to have us watch it too...haha. It was awesome!
They had it in English, but I went and watched it in Spanish... I am going to be AMAZED the next time I watch that movie and [finally] understand what they're saying!
The food here is SO good! All of it! ...yup...oh, and they feed you so much... and you have to eat EVERYTHING on you plate!
I have a new companion! Her name is Hermana Otto, she is from Moses Lake, Washington, and she's pretty awesome!
I love teaching with her because we teach a lot alike and she talks just as much as I do in a lesson.
She is definitely into being here and giving her all. She is also a nurse too, so sometimes I have to pair up with another companionship so she can go to her nurse duties.
Also I have a Latina companion that I eat lunch with... We don't really understand each other, but we laugh about random stuff, which is fun!
Yesterday, we gave our first lesson in Spanish! It wasn't perfect but the spirit was there and they understood everything we were talking about...
Then, the other day, we had the opportunity to go to the temple grounds and find people to get referrals from...I felt like a temple square missionary... But in spanish! It was AMAZING!
Again, my Spanish is nowhere perfect... Hardly mediocre, but we carried on conversations with everyone we talked to!
We started talking to these two girls, but then two more of their friends joined us, then two more, and then two more... It was so great to talk to them, and almost all of them gave us a name of someone that the missionaries could contact!
That is probably the coolest experience of being here...