Hey everyone, wow its been a crazy week for me down here in crazy, still hot, guatemala! As i told you last week, this week was changes, so everything was pretty crazy and hectic and it flew by so fast, but first i want to thank everyone for thier emails yet again and keeping me in touch with the world back home, sometimes i find myself forgetting what home used to be like because everything down here is starting to feel more like what i know if that makes any sense. Its like im desensitized to everything that used to blow my mind like crazy guatemalan people, crazy fruits and basically just living down here. Reading about how its finals week back at good ole BYU was kind of a shock to realize its been a year since finals last year and everything that was going on then, its crazy how unbelievably fast time flies. I hope everyone is gearing up for christmas, i woke up this morning and realized its only 15 days away, and that i will be able to talk to you all then which is wierd because i remember when i started, christmas felt like forever away, and now its 2 weeks away. I still dont know if im going to be able to skype or not, but its not looking to good because the truth is im kind of down here in the boonies of guatemala and i dont know if we we will be able to find a computer that can do it, or if president will let us, or pretty much anything right now, but ill let you all know when i can how that is going to work out. I still dont have the package, but dad has emailed me to tell me what the situation is, but i should get it soon, and thank you all for the effort you put into that.
Well the big news is...........
Yes, i did get changed out of my area! I got changed out to zone Tecun Uman in an area called Catarina. its like the forgotten zone of the mission because its way all the way on the border of mexico, and there are only 10 missionaries in the zone. Its at the foothills of the mountains of guatemala, and the view every morning actually reminds me of the mountain view back home in Colorado Springs except with a jungle between me and the mountains haha. My area and the areas out here in Tecun Uman are gigantic, the main part of my area is just this super long road with houses, stores and little side streets, and it takes about a hour to walk the whole length of this long road. we also have little communities or suburbs that are like 20-50 minutes away in a truck, and all the roads out there are just dirt and rocks, so its pretty interesting trying to get around to find investigators and members. we do a lot of hitch-hiking in the back of trucks which is something i have never really done in my life, and is actually really fun and makes getting around that much more interesting. especially when they see this white kid zooming around in the back of a truck down the highway, and since im so much in the boonies, some of these people probably have never seen a gringo before, so i get a lot of stares and people trying to talk to me in english when they cant speak english which is always enjoyable.
the other big news is that yes, i did get a latino companion, Elder Cachipuendo. He is from Ecuador and has about 8 months in the mission, and he is super funny and an awesome guy! I was a little apprehensive to get a latino because i was worried about spanish and everything, but i was blessed with an awesome guy as my companion and im super excited work with him. he is our district leader (there are only 4 of us in the district) and he is a good worker and just a funny kid to be around. It was like the second day working with him, and we were just talking while walking down a street, and it just hit me... i can speak spanish. Its crazy! i mean my spanish is far from perfect or fluent, but i talk spanish all day with Elder Cachipuendo, with members and teach in spanish to our investigators. It just blows my mind when i wake up and im just speaking spanish and i understand what people are saying, and its just close to natural to me. Its pretty awesome, and Elder Cachipuendo helps me out a lot, and i teach him some english as well. We are already good friends and its crazy to think that we are from different countries and different lives, but we are both here in guatemala for the same purpose. i still have a lot to learn, but its pretty exciting that im getting to the point where i know spanish, and i cant wait to talk with curt in a couple weeks!
Other than that, my week has just been really busy getting to know the new area and trying to find some more people to teach beause we dont have a ton right now, but we have a ton of areas to work with, so im truly just happy and stoked to be here right now and im learning so much, not just in spanish, but how to understand people, show the love of christ towards them and teach better so that they can understand the gospel. when i first started teaching i tried to teach everything and it was really complicated, and lessons would end up being a mess because people didnt understand anything i was saying, but as ive learned and grown and learned more about this gospel, the more simply i teach, and the more simple it becomes. it truly is amazing, and i think that is one of the reasons im down here in guatemala where i have to teach things so simply, like im teaching to children when i teach these people because i think it has helped me understand simply what i need to do better in my life. Anyway, i have to go, but i love you all, and although it doesnt feel like christmas for me right now, im having my own joy of working down here and helping these humble descendants of the lamanites come unto christ and experience the peace and joy of the gospel in their lives, because thats the real message of the gospel and christmas. Take advantage of this time of the year to feel the spirit in your lives and to do unto others what christ would do unto us and has done for all through his atonement, mercy and love! Keep strong and carry on and have joy and happiness in your lives during this special time of the year with family and everything!
P.S. sorry i dont have a picture of Elder Cachipuendo yet, but next week i will be sure to send one. Take care!