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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Week 3 in the Guatemala MTC

How is basketball going, can you dunk it?
No we can’t even hang on the rim. And all the balls are terrible. So we usually play volleyball.

How are the beds?
 They are small but I am so tired at the end of the day I sleep well.

Please spend you Guatemala money, you don't need to carry it for the rest of you mission. OH I have spent a lot. I bought a razor, and today I bought scripture covers and pencils and a leather bookmark with my name and my mission on it. It was only a buck. 

Have you had to talk I church yet?  I heard that sacrament meeting is like the hunger games and the reaping to see who is going to speak that week.  I also read a blog that said you and you companion also have to prepare a lesson for Sunday school and then they randomly pick who teaches.  Is this true? 
Yes it is true I haven't been chosen to speak yet and it may not happen because we have 2 fast Sundays and general conference, my odds of speaking went way down. I have taught once now and it isn’t bad because we haven’t had to do it in Spanish yet.

Tell us about the people in your district
There are10 of us:
Elder H from Utah
Elder M from Utah
Elder H from California
Elder T from Washington
Elder R from Utah
Elder M is from Idaho
Elder M from Utah
Sister C from Utah
Sister C from Utah

They are all good people and we keep our class fun but sometimes we don’t accomplish much.  The Mission president did a changed a couple of companionships this week my new companion is Elder H he is from Salt Lake City.

Yes I am still eating everything. Yesterday we had the best meal it was like spicy chicken soup and we had tamale type things cooked in banana leafs with rice and a desert thing. And some salsa that was way spicy. We really don’t get beans that often but rice all the time. The fruit is good but I have been only eating the kiwi when they have it and I eat a whole bowl, probably about 5 kiwis. 
We went to a small market and they had some amazing looking sushi at this high-end restaurant I would have totally eaten there. We have had fish several times here at the ccm and it is amazing. I get weird fruit drinks all the time here sometimes I wish they had a label because I can’t distinguish the flavor. They use tons of puff pastry, like insane amounts, there is a lot of wrapped stuff and lots of turnovers for desert and best of all it is all hand made.  They really don’t get anything frozen, they cooking from 7 to 7 it is insane. I got a piece of chicken, like the stuff we got in Canada, and it was really good, buy when I got down around to where the foot is and there was still feathers, but it was still really good.

Have you been able to leave the ccm this week?

Yes today we left for the temple. And we got out and walked a few blocks it was nice because the CCM is literally on a lot smaller than our yard almost.

I feel like the language is coming slowly, I understand a lot but I cant say what I want to. I think I have been getting better at Spanish for the most part I can say what I want to say, but sometimes I need help with connecting words.

Have you sent any letters if so I haven't gotten them.  Yes, we have sent at least 2 letters each week from   Letters have gotten through to other people but very few. Well we will see if they ever come.

When I get out in the field and have my camera I think that I will just take pictures of my journal entries and send them to you so you can really see what we do.

The funniest thing that happened this week, one of the other elders put a bun into a toaster, like our conveyor one, and it lit on fire and filled the whole cafeteria with smoke. NO the smoke alarm didn’t go off.

 I always want to fix their projectors because there always projecting half the image off the screen and they are so out of focus you can’t even tell whose on them when we watch videos and devotionals.

I am the only one going to San Pedro Sula west. All the Latinos going to my mission should arrive next Tuesday.  Many of the Latinos ask me and the other elders questions of what words mean and they always choose swearwords because most Latinos learned how to speak English from American music.

My next p day is on nest Tuesday or Wednesday I am not sure but I get to leave the ccm for most of the day to go to the big market and go on a tour of the city. So I am excited to be able to go shopping and see a little of the city. My times for emailing is up, love you all and hope you have a good week.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Week 2 in the Guatemala MTC

What has been the funniest thing that happened this week?
The funniest thing that happened this week well there wasn’t anything that funny, well I will tell you what the funniest thing was this week. We got to leave the ccm and go shopping for an hour, that’s the only thing that bothers me is that the whole ccm property is smaller than our yard. 
Today we went to the market and I finally purchased a razor but the blades I have don’t fit on it but it was the only good one at the store that I saw it cost 54 quetzal (7 dollars) It was starting to hurt to shave because it was dull, so I had some razor burn but now it will go away. My nose hasn’t had any problems because of the humidity.  Also at the market today the teacher that went with us wouldn’t let us buy coke and she had no idea why we couldn’t but Dr. Pepper was fine. Some of the people down here have weird standards.  I didn’t even get soda.  I didn’t want to spend my money. I didn’t even speak Spanish at the stores.  When we got back to the ccm and the President C. said you could buy whatever you want. The ccm president is fun he cares a lot and you get to talk with him a few times a day you wouldn’t have that at many other mtc’s

What was the most spiritual thing that happened this week?
All of the elders that left this week piled into a room this and sang a couple songs and had a prayer that was one of the most spiritual times. 

How is your stomach adjusting to the food?
For the most part I think my stomach is doing fine, some of the people are plugged for a week or more, but not me yet lets hope it doesn’t happen.

There is a Hurricane heading up passed Mexico, are you seeing anything from it?
No I haven’t seen anything unusual, but I have seen a lot of clouds just the normal though. Every day it rains. 

How often will you get new people into the ccm?
We get new people in the ccm every 2 weeks but there is not that many coming in the next groups. Come December there is only 4 people assigned to the ccm so it will close down for a while. We just have new missionaries arriving now. We have a whole room with 8 beds for ourselves right now but we will see as more arrive tonight and tomorrow.  That should help your Spanish improve pretty quickly

Yeah there is new elders walking into the computer room right now to send their email to their parents saying they made it here safely
Yeah at least I could find the at key this alth thing to type these fancy letters is hard .

What is your typical day like?
Typical day wake up at 6.30
eat breakfast at 7.30
Personal study 1 hour
Companion study 1 hour 
Teach a lesson to an investigator 
More instruction 
12.45 lunch 
 Then we repeat that schedule again at night.  We study Spanish every day.
We have two teachers and they have been good.   I have one teacher that is obsessed with sitting well after 4 hours in a chair she expects you not to slouch at all I hate these chairs.

How is the language coming?
The language is coming slowly but I can understand almost all Spanish when it is spoken to me I just can’t speak back very well. 

How was your first fast Sunday, how many meals do they expect you to fast for?  Does the kitchen even open up?

We fasted for 24 hours, dinner to dinner, but the food was good after the fast. 

I will be halfway done with the ccm at the end of this week well more than half way so it is going fast.  I’m just looking forward to getting out of the ccm and having room to move

I am still intrigued with the temple here, the celestial room is in the center and almost everything is attached to it. To get to the sealing rooms you have to go through the celestial room.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Week 1 in the Guatemala MTC

1. Did you meet any other elders on the flight from lax to Guatemala?
We met about 10 in salt lake and 15 more at lax

2. How is the food at the CCM is the fruit good and do you have beans for every meal? The food is good but it gives you bad gas and a lot of diarrhea. We have had a lot of beans but they are good, my favorite is a bean soup with hot sauce. We have had a lot of fish and pasta. We even had pancakes. There is a lot of good juices. One of my favorite ones is the jugo de mandrine it is amazing juice I also tried the jicama flower I think. The food for the most part is good. They serve us and we have to eat it all. I made a goal to clean my plate every meal at the CCM  *Look up what CCM means.  capatacion de centro de missionary something like that. Ok ohh and I look forward to lunch every day because we get ice cream. And at 9 we usually have refracion and get a snack, last night was donuts. We get a homemade pastry every meal and they are amazing. They can make puff pastry down here.

3. What is you companions name and where is he from and what mission is he going to after Guatemala and what is he like?  My companions name is elder H is from California. We get along good now but the first few days were rough because he used a lot of slang and abbreviations just like Californians do.  He is serving in the Honduras Comayaguela mission.

How many elders are in your class?  8 elders and 2 hermana’s
We have very good teachers and they are fun. There is usually one male and one female teacher per district.  The names of mine are Hermano M. and Hermana Q.  One of our teachers is ocd so if you are slouching in your chair after a 16-hour day you get in trouble.

So how do the Hermanas do with the gas? Good we stole one of those auto-spraying scent things out of a bathroom and put it in the classroom.

President is nice we have only gotten in trouble a few times, like last night he was in a bad mood because of the one elder punching the other, so he came around and most of us got a chewing because it was 10.35 and we weren’t asleep. He woke us all up early to and chewed us again.

I cant type because the keyboards are completely different, its near impossible to find the @ button you have to press alt and type 64.  There are a lot of sirens and a lot of security guards. We have motion detectors surrounding the building and a tone of guards.

4. Do you have native Spanish speakers in your room?  How is the language going?
No Latinos in my room but maybe next Wednesday. We get a new batch of missionaries. They make us sit and talk with them at lunch and in the halls.

5. What was your most spiritual experience this past week?
 Do you need anything?  Jana has already sent 2 care packages to Korbin because they send them direct from somewhere in Mexico City.
Probably a testimony meeting it is amazing after being here for so little time we know how to pray and bear our testimonies and talk a lot more. Remember simple testimonies can be much better than long ones.

7. Have you washed any of your clothes today how did it go? Yes I have washed two loads, colors and whites, the washing machines are sweet they auto dispense detergents you just press the button whites or colors.  Not dirty. I have only worn 2 shirts and 2 pants and some garments. Next time I wash my clothes, I am going to try what the older elders do to clean the neck better. There is a magic green bar that is supposed to help.  Shirts or shoes I change the shoes out two to 3 times a day. Shirts I’ve only stained one and I don’t know how, it was a green line that looked like it was from a marker.

8. How is the weather it looks hot and humid
It is perfect; it doesn’t feel hot or humid to me. We have deportes *sports* for an hour everyday and it begins to pour every time. We get to take showers twice a day, and another outside.  Did it rained 3 inches? Probably 3 inches it rains like I have never seen every day sometimes twice a day.

9. Have you left the CCM property or did you go to the temple?
Yes today I left the CCM and went to the temple, wow what an experience. We went to an English session but it was good, and the spirit was strong.  The Temple was very small and everything was connected.  The windows from the baptistery looked right at the exit to the Celestial room, the Telestial and veil room were the same room and they only have 2 of them, which hold probably 25 people.  The screen is literally projected to a 43” image

Can you upload pictures?  I can’t send pictures they take away our cameras so we cant use them.  No, it’s their rule and they stick to it. If you are three feet away from your companion they die because you’re not with them and then they say in the rules you just have to be able to see them or hear them. We also decided smell them counts.

10. Anything we missed that you want to tell us.
Yes the power has gone out and flickered a lot. It is always when we are doing things and someone for example, the mission president, starts to say something bad the lights go out, very weird.

We had one elder get sent home because he punched another one. ‘Don’t do that” Yeah the elder that got sent home was from Nevada or California I don’t know. My companion is trying to work on the slang but I’m just getting more used to it.

Also I am the only elder at the CCM going to my mission. So I will be the only white guy on the flight with the Latino’s.   There are 4 hemanas  going to Honduras.

The volcanoes as we were landing were cool. I spend some cash at the centro de distribucion to buy me some nice Spanish scriptures.

Tell everyone I love them and that I am fine and also having good spiritual experiences.