Monday, August 31, 2009

First Zone Conference in Guatemala!


Okay . . . So I will get to all your questions, but I’m gonna give my few updates and ask my few questions too real quick, if ya don’t mind . . . Oh, you don’t? Thanks! Here I go!

Last P-Day, we found a bum cheap ice cream place, so you know we’ll get ice cream again today! And, today for our Zone P-Day activity, we played dogdgeball. The people in the Zone elected me to the All-Star Team, so we played 5 vs. 20 and we lost. I was the last one standing and took out a few guys by myself and caught a guy in, too, but we still lost. Anyway, now my elbow is killlllin me! Oh, well!

I did quite a great job hittin’ up the pacas these P-Days, too! I got a pair of plaid dress pants for 1 quet which is, ummm, 12 cents! They’re sweeeeet! Hahahaha! I was lovin’ it! Then I bought dress shoes for 10 quets ‘cause I feel like I’m gonna need a third pair of shoes. The shoes I wear every day, one of the pairs of Timberlands, might be wearin’ out, but we will have to wait and see how they hold up! Then today I bought LRG jeans for 10 quets! Hahahah! Shoppin’ in pacas is just all luck . . . You gotta go treasure huntin’ through all their garbage to find the hidden gems.

So, as you guys know, I think, I finished the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price last week! So, now I’m in the Bible. I’m still readin’ in English so I can learn more. In just four days, I’ve already read half way through Luke! I feel like I’m good and on pace again.

This week we taught a new family and . . . wow . . . they just wanted to teach us! They were yellin’ at us and callin’ us sons of the devil and stuff! Hahaha! The old lady swears she knows the Bible from front to back but, ummmm, she’s never been able to read . . . LOL . . . They didn’t wanna listen at all. Needless to say, we don’t have a follow up appointment with them.

How is GHS Football? Is James playin’? How are Nick and everyone on the team this year? Maybe Dylan can talk to James ‘bout that question . . . or who ever know the most ‘bout it can answer the question.

Can Stacie get Taylor Rodriguez e-mail address for me from Carly or something? Por favor . . .

Did school start for Dylan already now?

Now I’ll try to answer your questions . . .

First, nice picture and stories of Aaliyah . . . Haha . . . Thanks! You know I need those! I actually had a dream that I was playin’ around with her the other night. It was awesome! Then when I woke up to our alarm, I was kinda sad . . .

Oh, and I don’t need a jump rope. I hope I didn’t say I need one . . . Haha! ‘Cause I don’t, but thank you!

Remember that when you send a package, put a bunch of Jesus stickers and stuff on it. That’s the trick to it actually getting to me, I believe . . .

We don’t really have anyone else progressing very fast right now, but we had eight investigators in church this past Sunday (yesterday)! And, yes, Luis and Teresa are getting’ married on Saturday and then we are baptizing them before church on Sunday at 6am . . . Hahah! Should be fun! They are awesome, though.

Well, I’m off to go write back to Dad! Haha! Love you all!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Scriptures . . . Answers to Prayers

I’m sorry you didn’t get my e-mail for so long last week! I have no idea what happened! Hopefully you get this one faster. And I’m glad you liked my Top 10 (changed to Top 11). The CCM was pretty much the bomb . . .

I’m stoked about my grades! What’s the GPA? I think I look like a “goodish” college student. Even if I’m not a great college student, at least I can always fall back on the fact that I’m a better college student than Stacie, so that’s good! I dunno know if you read my blog, Angela, but if you do . . . Big props to you on helping me in Stats! I woulda had no chance without you! So thanks again!

I’m glad everyone likes Luke’s eyes . . . I guess I will, too! Haha . . . It’s just gonna be so different! We can’t get high, so it was always funny to have someone in our family looking “high” at all our sports games.

So . . . Now for my updates . . .

On the last P-Day, on the way to the Stake Center, my Companion slipped and fell pretty hard. Who knows why that kinda thing is so funny . . . No one really knows, but it is really funny and I was dyin’ laughin’! Today and last week on P-Day, we played broom hockey. It’s pretty dog on fun . . . Me and my Comp were workin’ it last week, killin’ everyone, so they split up the team this week and it wasn’t as fun. Probably just because I wasn’t winning as much but, oh well!

So, you know how I told you how I ruined some of my underwear and they turned orange? Well, Hermana Esperanza does our laundry and she approached me about it. I told her the story of how that happened in the Guatemala CCM and she wouldn’t believe me! Hahahahah! It was so funny! She was like, it has to be a joke! It won’t come out for nothin’! And how is it up by the belt line? That isn’t possible! Hahahahahahahah! I was dying, cause umm, it for sure happened . . . I remember!

So, there was kind of a cool story this past week in personal study. I don’t always remember to pray before I start my personal study, but I remembered one day and prayed that I could, ya know, learn something new and that something would help me and apply to me. So, I opened up to where I had left off in my scriptures and I started at the beginning of Doctrine and Covenants, Section 112, and it was a crazy answer! It was just the first four verses. And I knew to really only pay attention to the first four verses as the answer. It was crazy! You just replace the name of “Thomas” with “Derek” and I was like “whhhaaaa”????? I hadn’t ever received such an obvious answer to a prayer through the scriptures. I was lovin’ it . . .

Randy would love this . . . We were teachin’ a lesson a few days ago and that super old song came on the radio . . . The one Randy I love so much . . . Amadeus, Amadeus, oh, oh, oh, Amadeus . . . Hahahah! I was laughin’ pretty hard at how random that was!

Ohhh . . . Good story . . . Two nights ago, I woke up ‘cause I heard a cat in the room. Why is that weird? Well, we don’t have any cats in our house! All of a sudden, it jumped on my bed, so I kicked it off. The cat started leavin’ the room, but then it came back and jumped on my Comp’s bed. He hates, hates, hates ALL animals basically . . . Cats, dogs, rats . . . All of ‘em! When my Comp felt the cat, he woke up and freaked out! Hahahahahah! He just jumped up and yelled, “What the crap?!?!?!?!?!?!” His voice was the most scared I have ever heard! LOL! It was soooooo, so funny! So, we went searchin’ for the cat, but it had left already. It had just come in a li’l hole we have by the bathroom. Needless to say, we have that closed off now. But, yea, it was hilarious.

So, for a while, Louis and Teresa weren’t sure if they were gonna get married, so we weren’t knowin’ exactly what to do, but we got it all fixed and we are actually goin’ with them to get all the papers and stuff a li’l later today! It will complete a family, so how awesome is that????? Oh, and they asked my Comp and I to be witnesses at the wedding ‘cause they love us so much like that. What an honor, huh? So, I’m pretty stoked. As of now, the wedding and baptism are both still set for the 5th . . . Yes . . .

This area is a li’l tough cause it’s so small so we feel like we have talked to everyone already, but this week we had our highest totals in new investigators and lessons taught. Evelin said that this is actually maybe the hardest area in Guatemala because of how small it is and how stubborn everyone is! She says not many baptisms happen and stuff, but we are doin’ aaight!

Well, I love you all and I hope to hear from you all soon! Really . . . Love you all and hope to hear from you all soon . . .

Saturday, August 22, 2009

My Companion - Elder Judd Ireland

I’m not sure how I like Luke’s eyes! I hardly know a boy like that! How do you feel? And Aunt Skye?

Okay . . . So my updates now . . .

1. What were my grades like? You never told me! C’mon!

2. Dylan, did you take that whole middle shelf of shoes I told you you could have? I’m sure you did . . . Just wondering . . . LOL . . .

3. I saw the blog . . . I’m likin’ it, haha . . . Good job. And thanks for all the editing, too. Taking out secret things I say and redoing my grammar. LOL . . . I know I stink at spelling, so thanks . . .

4. Oh, Ashley! Remember when I was gonna go out to Utah and I gave you a list of the food I wanted and I spelled bacon like “beacon” or something? LOL . . . Well I was at the house of an investigator and she had it translated on a piece of paper but she had it spelled “beicun” . . . LOL . . . I was laughing so hard!

5. Did dad decided to do anything with the job offer at that li’l school? You never answered that question either! Geeeeez!

6. Another really funny thing here . . . You know in Nacho Libre how he says, “They were e-stinky”? Well it’s really funny here because in Spanish there is basically always an “e” before a word that starts with an “s” so when we practice English and they need to say a word in English that starts with an “s”, they sound like Nacho Libre. I love it!

7. So somethin’ really fun here is the Law of Chastity. There are a lot of teenagers and sometimes older people that like to make out on the streets . . . Soooo . . . My comp and I always have Law of Chastity pamphlets ready to give out to them . . . LOL . . . It’s the best. We normally say, “Excuse me” to break them up from making out and then give them a lesson on the Law of Chastity right then. They get sooooo embarrassed . . . . I love it! I am ready to lose it every time we do it! I just wanna bust up laughing!

8. Oh, I know Stacie is friends with our cook’s Mom . . . By the way, the cook’s name is Hermana Esperanza (Sister Hope) and her daughter’s name is Evelin (or however you spell it). She’s great and she even taught with us yesterday!

9. Nothin’ real new on investigators unfortunately . . .

10. One guy we take with us on a lot of lessons is the Patriarch here and he is awesome! He is 75, a super li’l guy (like 5 feet 4 inches and maybe weighs like 129), but he lays down the law in our lessons! He’s crazy!

11. So, two nights ago, we were walkin’ home and bought some candy and a drunk guy got run over by a motorcycle right in front of us! It was crazy! The motorcycle driver never looked back! LOL! Just a nice li’l “hit and run”! Anyway, the dude that got hit messsssssssssed up his knee like crazy! His knee was bent wayyyyyy outta place! And he was soo drunk he was asking my Companion and me to help him up so he could walk home. He said he was only like a few streets away . . . LOL. Drunk people are crazy and there are billions of them here. I’m making an album of pictures of people passed out. Back to the story, though . . . The ambulance finally got there and cut open his pant leg. Oooooo hooo hoooo hooo. His leg was so messed up! From his knee down, his leg was just attached by skin really. All the bone and everything was like poppin’ out right above his knee and he was, obviously, bleedin’ like crazy! And I didn’t even get the butt tinglies . . . LOL! It was crazy, though!

12. Oh! And I got in trouble last night because my Companion looked at my blog and I had never told you his name. It is Elder Judd Ireland. Did Tom know the place where he is from? And how far away did he live from there? What High School did Tom go to again?

Anyway, I love you all! Lemme know whatcha wanna know! I’m here for ya! I love and miss you all a billion!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

"It's always a good day here"

Hey, yo fam!

It’s been 2 weeks so hopefully I have a lot of good fun things to tell you! But I guess you can be the judges! I’ll try to go in order of what happened the last 2 weeks so bear with me . . .

Our CCM experience ended with going to Las Colinas again. All the white people, well all the white men, played football. So it was our li’l District vs the 2 other districts . . . Three teams of 5 or 6 or something. We did okay . . . We won just as much as anyone. No one had a real advantage . . . LOL! I held my own against the BYU rugby player. He’s super small and quick but I just kept him in front of my like basketball ‘cause it was two hand touch and I was fine. Oh! Crazy ‘bout him though! Dallas – You’ll remember the BYU and Cal Rugby game. Remember the huge drive BYU had at the end, going away from us? Remember the perfect kick pass over toward the far right corner? And the catch by the li’l white guy – Number 14? Then he made a sweet cut back and almost scored? Well . . . That’s the guy I was guarding! How sweet is that?????

It’s really funny . . . I never knew why the Latinos called people that had a crush on someone a snake . . . But now I know! The girls here in Central America hiss slash whistle three times when they see a good looking guy or something . . . Haha . . . Just to get their attention. It’s super funny. Since we are gringos, we get those hisses a lot.

Okay . . . So now I am in . . . I’m sorry to tell you mom. . . I’m in Zone 18. That means I’m in the most dangerous zone in all of Latin America! How sweet is that???? You know I wouldn’t want anything different. When my companion picked me up from Guatemala City, like none of the taxis would even take us to our city! Our city is La Maya. I guess like 5 or 10 minutes away is the most dangerous city in Central America. La Maya is actually pretty chill though. It’s actually the smallest area in the entire mission so I’m gettin’ to know it pretty well. Our home is really kinda nice. I mean, by American standards , it sucks; But for here it’s nice. We live in a two-story place. Upstairs is our room and bathroom and study area and even a li’l kitchen. Downstairs is just a dinner table. But it’s almost like a hotel in the sense that a door separates our neighbor and us. Our neighbor, though, is a member of the church and she is our cook. She has a daughter who is like 24 and I believe she asked Stacie to be her friend on Facebook . . . Haha. But yea, the food is okay . . . The cook takes good care of us for sure. She cooks every meal and cleans everything for us. She’s pretty legitttt.

Some stories . . . About two days ago, we were two minutes away from seeing a guy get shot and killed! We got to where it happened just barely late. When we got there, people were all surrounding the intersection. It happened in the really, only really, busy intersection in the city. We got there and asked what happened so they told us. And right in the street was a hugggge puddle of blood! I thought it was juice or something . . . Honest. But yea . . . He got shot in the head and died. I dunno if they caught the bad guy. Three people were killed that day. Crazy, huh? Nothin’ bad happened any other days, though. Oh! But last night a guy punched a girl in the face! I guess we were a minute late from seeing that too! She was just cussing and yelling and smackin’ her legs and stuff. It was crazy! I’m glad I didn’t see it happen or that guy woulda been done for! She already had a black eye and crap.

I showed my family pictures to the cook, her daughter and some friends last night. They were very nice about you, Mom! They honestly didn’t believe that you were my mom. Once they believed me, they just thought you were super young. Sorry, I told them you aren’t very young. LOL . . . But they think that you are very, very pretty . . . As do I, of course . . . And Dad, you must be a lucky man, huh? As if we didn’t all know how lucky we are to have Mom already . . .

I’m almost done with the Book of Mormon. I haven’t really had time to read since I’ve been out here, but I’m almost done with Mormon if I remember correctly. Gosh . . . It’s an amazing book!

Best story last . . . My Comp’s birthday was on Saturday, so in the morning we bought some ties. They were five for 19 quets, which is less than fifty cents a piece in American currency. They have pacas here with old clothes and you can find cool stuff sometimes. At 6:00, though, was my first baptism! His name is Carlos and he’s 14. Ahhhhhhhh! It was amazing, mom and family! My Comp did the baptism but geeeeez. When we were taking the pictures before the baptism, I almost started crying. I wish I had realized how huge baptism is when I baptized Allie. I mean I’m glad I know now, though! It was an amazing feeling, though. Just to know what you are doing for someone. There’s really nothing more rewarding, not just saying that. It was really that cool. And then that night, Carlos’ parents, who we have been teaching, also committed to be baptized on the 5th of September! Their problem is that they aren’t married; But they (Luis, 27 and Teresa, 36) have committed to getting married and baptized on the 5th, which is the Dad’s birthday, too! How cool would that day be? They are both super close to done smoking too. They are such an awesome family. We visit ‘em like every day . . . They better not fall through on us. And I don’t think they will. Oh! And then we had pizza for dinner . . . Haha. Bomb day, yo!

Today is P-Day obviously . . . So we went and ate at some bigger place with Luis, the Dad. It was super good!

Oh, and my Comp is a cool dude. A great guy to start with. He’s a gringo from a town near Denver . . . Broomfield. Maybe Tom knows that place. But, yea, he’s been out ten and a half months. We get a lot of work done every day and it’s always a good day here.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Guatemala MTC (CCM)

Here's where our cute boy has been living for the past six weeks!

Welcome to the Guatemala MTC!

A very loved area of the MTC (CCM)

And the gym . . . Very nice!

Is this a guard gate? Hmmmm . . . .

Guatemala City Temple

Derek mentioned that the actual location of the Guatemala City Temple is much different than what we see in pictures . . .
This is the type of picture we see of the Temple
And . . . This is its actual location! Wow!
Pretty cool stuff :-)