February 8, 2016

Week 9: Big hello! Look! Two giants!

Hello Family!

Story of the week Since I'm 5'10 and my companion is 6'6, when we walk down the street we always hear kids say "Hola gran! Mira! dos gigantes!"

So it was my senior companion's six month mark last Friday, so that night I bought us cheescake and super cola (it was super good), and we went on our roof and burned a tie on a little bonfire as we ate. It was a pretty good time.

I tried lots of new foods this week. There is a thing called wiskil (if I'm spelling it right). It's kind of like squash. They eat it with lemon squeezed on it, it's super good. I also had a mayan drink called pozol, it's made with corn and cocoa...and also super good, although a little weird. There's a hot sauce they have here called picamas. Everybody here has it, and they put it on everything, often accompanied by ketchup and mayo, and it's amazing! My new favorite snack is fruit (super cheap here) and we put sal negra (black salt), chile picante (chili powder) and squeeze lime over it. I'm in the habit of putting lime, chili powder, and salt,or picamas on everything.

This last week was also the celebration of the town's patron saint, it's called feria. And it's just like being at Kamas Fiesta Days. Tons of booths selling things, rodeos, that kind of thing.

As far as the missionary work goes, Spanish is still going really well. I love learning it, and I'm doing really well with it. the people here are very warm and accepting of the gospel (and love to talk to gringos, especially bolos (drunk people); we found out bolos also have the gift of tongues, they always seem to speak perfect English!) But the problem is they are all huge chambones (guate slang for a lazy person) so they are never home for their set visits, nor will they keep commitments, and none of them come to church...we end up teaching the first lesson, and never seeing the person again, over and over.

But yeah, still enjoying it here a ton, everything is awesome. I always love hearing about (and especially from) everyone. Please tell them all I'm thinking about them!

The companions...
Elder Van Katwyk and Elder Lee, aka dos gigantes!
6 month bonfire celebration for Elder Van.
A day in the life...
The beautiful country...
The beautiful children...
And Elder Lee!
The food...
Favorite condiment!
Seriously, mmm!
Homemade, with love.
The best dishes!

An apartment tour with Elder Van...

Elder Van coined this the "baggy" quilt. (baggy=homesick!)

Hot plate + sink + microwave on the fridge = better kitchen than most.
For study and motivation.
The rooftop patio.
Great for a hangout spot.
Comes with a view.
On the way to Feria...
Rodeo Queens

In the parade

More pictures of the countryside...

Chiantla sits in the Cuchumatanes mountain range...the highest in Central America.

And of the city...

A distant volcano in the sunset.
Thankfully, the elevation keeps the bugs to a minimum.
A guest in the apartment...

To scare the heck out of mom...
Just need a little perspective!
Some things never change with this boy.
I am a Utah Man!

Yet, the work continues to roll forward.
The word of God will safely guide us through.