January 25, 2016

Week 7: Huehuetenango

Hello from Huehuetenango! (pronounced way-way) I am in an area called Chiantla. It's a city about like Kamas. It's mostly alleys with streets made mostly from cobblestone. The buildings on either side are concrete and corrugated sheet metal, usually painted bright colors. It's a lot like what we saw in that documentary but in a city setting. There's like zero city maintanance here, so there's trash all over and dogs everywhere! But I guess the elevation keeps the bugs to a minimum, so that's nice. I came here by chicken bus; everything you hear about them is true...they're pretty sketchy! But now that I'm here, we walk everywhere we go.

My trainer is Elder Van Katwyck. He's 6 foot 6, from California, and yes, before you even ask, he played basketball. Luckily, he's a gringo so he speaks English. :) He's been out for almost six months, and we're opening our area, so we're both kind of learning. But most of the people he talks to assume he's been out for at least a year. He knows what our responsibilities are and why we're here, but he's pretty easy-going, which I think is good.

Our apartment would frankly be considered a disasater in the U.S. but it's nicer and bigger than most homes here. We have one bedroom, a 75 sq. foot kitchen, and an entryway. I do get warm showers when there's power. The water is heated in the shower head, and it's super sketchy because the power to the shower head is through a couple of wires coming from the light socket, and some days the shower shocks us through the water, so we can't use it if there is power. There are some people who come by once a week who we pay to do our laundry, but they aren't members, so we wash our own garments by hand.

We ususally eat lunch with a member every day. The food is always super good. There's always rice and beans (black bean paste, like what we eat in burritos at home) and tortillas with every meal, and I love it! Sometimes I'll eat breakfast if there's time. And we usually make something small and easy for dinner, like eggs or bean burritos.

The ward is a little small. Everyone is really nice and some of them grew up in the church. Everyone has kids. Our zone is made up of 6 elders. I've only met the zone leader, Elder Ramos, and his companion, Elder Diaz. They're both super nice, and we usually see them every day. We don't have hardly any investigators since we're opening a new area, so we spend most of our day contacting/proselyting.

Also, the Spanish is going well. I can understand most of what is said in conversations, but I'm still struggling to speak very well, but it is coming fast.

I feel like it'd be a good to give you an idea of what my days are like, so...
6:30 wake up and exercise
7:00 get ready
8:00 personal study
9:00 companion study
10:00 language study
11:00 proselyte or teach lessons
1:00 lunch with a member
2:30ish proselyte or teach lessons
8:30ish return home and study more
9:30 plan/prepare for tomorrow/journal
10:30 bed

I really miss driving. I do sometimes feel baggy in the mornings, but only some, and by the end of every day I'm glad I'm here. I am absolutely loving it here. This place is amazing, every part of it!

Tell everyone I'm missing them. I'm sure I've thought about every person I know since I've been out. But time is moving fast. Again, tell everyone I miss and love them. Love you all!

January 19, 2016

Week 6: Quetzaltenango!

Today Elder Lee left the MTC in Guatemala City and arrived at the mission home to meet President and Hermana Smith in Quetzaltenango. He looks fantastic!

January 12, 2016

Week 5: 5%

This last week hasn't been super eventful so I don't really have much to say. (How much can you say about 5 weeks of classes on the 5th week?) I have been taking lots of pictures and hopefully I'll be able to upload them soon when I'm out in the field.

Just one more week in the CCM. I don't feel ready yet, but I don't think I ever would anyway, I'm pretty well off (prepared) compared to most of the other nortes.

My mission is 5% over already, so see ya in 19 more.

Thanks for the updates and emails...keep them up! Love you.

January 5, 2016

Week 4: I Absolutely Love It Here!

Hello to all my friends and family!

4 weeks into the MTC. My Spanish is coming along great, and my testimony is even better. I had mixed emotions when I got here. I remember at the end of the first day, I layed down in my new bed, stared at the bottom of the bunk above me, and thought to myself, "What the heck have I gotten myself into?" I knew why I was here though. I'm very proud to be doing what I'm doing, and to be a part of this great work. It's been a lot more work than I'm used to, but I'm grateful for the opportunity I've had to grow as much as I have in the past 4 weeks.

I have a hard time imagining that any other district that has come through the MTC has had anywhere near the comradery we share in our district. I love every single person in our district, and the love we share has helped me a lot.

Guatemala is pretty cool. It's mountains are very beautiful, and the weather has been great so far. We do get lectures almost daily about what we can and can't eat, which parasites are which, and how we can't use water from the faucets. We have armed guards outside of the MTC, and sometimes its hard to distinguish the fireworks from the gunshots (we hear plenty of both.) But the people here are very loving, welcoming, and kind. Some of the food here is amazing. And I've never seen so many old beater motorcycles in my life. I absolutely love it here!