It was SO wonderful to to Skype with Cory on Christmas!! We got to talk with him for an hour, and we wish it could have been longer. He & some other missionaries were able to go to a member's house in a different area than his, and they had two computers for the missionaries to talk with their families. As you can see in the background, Cory said it was one of the nicest houses in Guatemala. The connection was actually better than we expected, and we only had a few times when the video wouldn't work.
Anyway, he looks great and is doing awesome! His Spanish is coming along really well, and it was so fun to hear his accent. There were a couple of times when he had a hard time remembering the words in English--Spanish would just come out naturally. It was amazing to see! He spoke with Curt in Spanish a little bit, and he ended by bearing his testimony in Spanish. It was awesome.
We asked him some questions about his day-to-day life, and we found out that his current apartment is pretty nice and actually has running water--most of the time. They pay someone to do their laundry for them, and they just started eating meals with members every day (whereas before they paid someone to feed them). Their daily schedule is the following:
5:30 am - wake up
6:00 to 7:00 am - work out at the gym
7:30 am - breakfast
8:00 to 9:00 am - personal scripture study
9:00 to 10:00 am - companion scripture study
10:00 to 11:00 am - language study (Cory studies Spanish, his companion studies English)
11:00 am to 9:00 pm - out on the streets contacting, teaching, and eating
It's nice to know exactly what his day is like. His current companion, Elder Cachipuendo, seems like a really great guy. We got to see him & "talk" with him for a little bit (he only speaks Spanish, so we couldn't say much), and he & Cory seem to get along really well. It was fun to watch them interact. :)
The sad news is that apparently they were robbed about a week-and-a-half ago while they were at the gym, and both of their cameras were stolen. So sad! So he lost all of his pictures, except the ones he has emailed us. Thank goodness for those! We are working on how to get him a new camera.
He also told us a crazy story about the baptism they had last week for Fabio. Cory & Elder Cachipuendo started filling up the font at the church, and then left to go have lunch. Apparently the overflow drain was clogged, and they were gone for awhile eating lunch, so when they got back, the font had overflowed & flooded the church. On top of that, the bishop & the members didn't show up, so it was a little crazy. But it all ended working out and Fabio DID get baptized.
I can't think of anything else major that he talked about. But, as I said before, it was so awesome to talk with him. Definitely the best part of our Christmas!
We're already looking forward to Mother's Day when we get to talk with him again!
P.S. He STILL had not received his Christmas package as of when we talked (even though we sent it weeks ago via FedEx & was supposed to arrive in 4 days), but he was hoping to get it the next day, or sometime this coming week. He had confirmed that it did get to the Mission Office, so he was just waiting until the assistants could get it out to him (apparently he is in a very remote area, far far away). We were all so sad that he didn't have it in time for Christmas, but he seemed okay with it. I guess it gives him an excuse to celebrate Christmas longer!