I will start this letter again with another strange thing I ate....
Mojara... AKA fish. But this was every part of the fish. The fish was whole on our plate and we had to eat everything but the bones and the head. We ate the fins/tail and both of the eyes too. It was not as bad as I thought it was going to be, the eyes were nasty and you had to be careful in picking out the bones, because they hurt really bad if you missed any, they were like toothpicks. I could do it again though unlike the turtle eggs.
We made the brownies I got in my package this week, but since we do not have an oven we made brownie pancakes and made them in the microwave. They were really good!
We have 1 baptism for the 7th of November and possibly another for that day too. I am looking forward to that and it should be really cool.
One thing I noticed this last week and it really bothers me is that once the priests start to bless the sacrament they lock the chapel doors and do not let anyone leave or enter (to maintain the spirit). If you show up a little late, no sacrament for you. That does not seem very Christlike and for some reason really bothers me. Just wanted to rant a little.
Also read "The First Nativity" by Ron Brough and Kathy Jenkins and really loved it. It is a very short book but really awesome and recommend it to all!
Lastly... Ponderize: Moroni 7:45
Random pic's of neighborhood, church, and my apartment building.
Elder Lindquist waiting for brownie pancakes.
This is Tuk tuk and is similar to a taxi but easier.
Not much happened this week. I will start with the most exciting and work my way down to some misc. things.
Turtle eggs.... This last week an investigator gave us 4 turtle eggs because my companion said he loved them and I have never had them. There are pictures in one drive along with a video of my experience. I can say it is one of the grossest things I have ever eaten and will not be doing it again any time soon. My companion peeled the eggs (they have a soft shell) and poured two eggs into a cup for me. He had two eggs of his own too and I made him go first. He drank them no problem and said they were good. They smelt so bad though and looked nasty, as you eat them raw and do not cook them. The yoke is thicker and bigger than the yoke of a regular egg too. I did end up eating/drinking both but nearly threw up both times. Again, nothing I will ever do again.
Ended up in a different church... As we were out contacting one night a lady opened the door and invited us in. She led us into the back of her store where there were about 15 others and they all had a bible. We thought that we had been invited in to share our beliefs and that we were in a bible study group. We were wrong... once we got in and sat down, everyone stood up and started shouting prayers. Everyone was saying something different as they were personal prayers but everyone was yelling them and some people got really into it and started waving their hands while others started to cry. My companion and I just stood there not knowing what to do and I was doing my best not to laugh as it was really funny. After about 5 minutes of this they sang a song and returned to their prayers. After a total of 15 minutes with them they all sat back down and my companion and I politely excused ourselves as we were not supposed to be there.
We also had interviews this week with the president, his wife, and the Dalys. Not so much interviews though. With the president he just wanted to know how everything was going and if we had any concerns. The Dalys talked about how I need to be teaching my companion spanish every night. Sister Caffaro just wanted to get to know us and gave us brownies and apple juice. She also gave me a nice full size blanket :)
I was also introduced to Chiltepe peppers which apparently you can only find here in Guatemala. They are green and about the size of a pencil eraser. They are about has hot as a banana pepper, maybe a little hotter but for some reason they made me cry. I did not need water and my mouth was not burning but for some reason I was crying. The members, whose house we were at for dinner, and my companion started laughing. I tried telling them I did not think it was hot and they did not believe me. I have eaten many more since as I love them, but every time they make me cry.
I do not eat as much as I did at home, but the food that I do eat is not healthy in the slightest. It is full of fats, butter, sugar, and carbs. I feel so unhealthy.
Last P-Day we ate Little Caesars for lunch and I can say pizza is always good no matter where you are in the world.
There are only about 100 members in the ward, it is really small.
During a lesson yesterday a mom started breastfeeding her baby right in front of us and it was really awkward to teach her.
I anointed for 3 blessings this week and that was more of a challenge than I had thought as doing it in spanish is not very easy. Sunday, I was also able to participate in confirming the Holy Ghost to two new members and that was really cool too!
We play soccer every P-Day as a Zone.
Luke 6 is a great chapter and I encourage all to read it this week.
PONDERIZE: Luke 6:45
To see Turtle Egg Video:
Not much new here, just the usually contacting, lessons, and preaching the gospel. Things are going great and I am still healthy and having the best day of my life.
There are no road laws here, or at least I have yet to see any, so driving in cars or taxis is always interesting and bit scary. I think there are just as many motorcycles as cars here too, if not more. All through out the day fireworks are going off, especially fire crackers, and it gets pretty annoying after a while. Christmas and New Years should be fun though with all the fireworks and my roof top access.
Things with my companion are going well, we get along really well and have already got 11 baptism dates lined up. One thing about my companion though is that he never washes his hands and he always says "whats up Nig***". I tried explaining how that is not a very nice thing to say and he just responds with "here in central america it doesn't matter" and he goes on to say it to other missionaries and even members some times and no one cares. It is really different than in the U.S. My companion was all sick all day Thursday with the flu so we just stayed home and I read some of "our search for happiness", studied spanish, and cleaned the house a little. It was a long day.
This last Wednesday I also went on divisions with my District Leader, Elder Lindquist. That was cool to see how he did stuff, see another house [our house is by far the nicest], and to see another area. The best way to describe a division is like a sleep-over.
Every Saturday at 4 in the afternoon I get to teach an english class. The class is held at the church and is for anyone that wants to learn english. That was a lot of fun and also a bit of challenge but I look forward to doing it again next week. I also help members or others with their english every now and then at night if they ask. A lot of people are taking english in their university so I help them study and help them with their homework too. I did not think I would be helping this much with my english but it is a lot of fun and a really cool experience.
Some other random things...
- you can buy 3 liter bottles of soda for Q16
- there are a lot of stray dogs all over
- I had rice in milk Saturday, yes just straight up white rice in my milk, and I actually really liked it, it was pretty good.
- I have also had a white rice omelet, just eggs and white rice... welcome to guatemala
- they have the best guacamole here as it is really fresh with all of their avocado trees. The avocados on the trees are like twice the size of normal avocados, it is pretty crazy.
- weekends have lost all joy for me as they are the exact same as every other day, with the exception of church on Sunday. The only day I look forward to now is Monday, my day of rest.
I got the package and debit card this last Wednesday, it was like Christmas! I loved everything in there SO much! Brownie brittle was gone day 1 and sour patch kids day 2, they were SO good! I loved the greenie theme, it made me laugh. I do not know how I am going to make brownies but I will figure it out as we do not have an oven and other things. I am thinking about brownie pancakes. Also loved all the Moos and nutella. I need to buy some crackers for the nutella, I think it will last me a year. I am trying to save the moos for as long as possibly but I can not help myself because they are so good! I also loved the Chimes Ginger chews, those were surprisingly good. Thanks so much!!!
Ponderize scripture of the week.... Moroni 7:9
Random shots of my place and roof top access.
My scripture cases.
Starting with my main letter today and I will go back and read as many emails as I can. Hopefully I will be able to figure out pictures too.
So... I left the CCM at 7 in the morning and left in a school bus for a stake center where we met the president, his wife, and the APs. I felt like Anna from frozen singing the song about opening the gates. We had a little orientation and then left in taxi for our area. My campanion is Elder Alvarado and he is from Hondorous. He only speaks spanish so it makes it difficult to ask questions and sometimes understand what is going on. For the first three days too we were in a trio with elder Vijil, I do not know why but things are back to normal.
My home is really nice, its on the 3rd floor and has a really awesome view of Guatemala. The first day though there was no clean water for us to drink and that sucked because I was really thirsty. The shower is awesome too as I get warm water to shower with. We do not ever eat breakfast, not exactly sure why, but I do not have a problem with it. I get Q1,400 a month to buy food and other necessities. We have two member chefs for us, one for lunch and one for dinner. It costs Q300 a month for lunch and dinner (Q600 for food a month and then whatever more I spend on snacks). Laundry is also done by a member in our ward for Q150 a month and once a week. When I went downtown to sign my visa this week and I also saw that Q7.70 is = to $1. You can do the math from there.
There are also little tiendas on every corner which sell misc. things, food, snacks, drinks, pure water in a bag (50 centavos), and more. I like going there and trying different candies and drinks that we do not have in the U.S.
We also had a district meeting this week and my companion and I got locked inside the church building for 20 minutes before someone let us out, I did not think that was possible.
We also watched general conference this week and I was able to watch it in english with 6 other north americans in the stake centers family history lab. This is also where I write emails home. The internet is slow and hard to upload photos. I also decided to accept Deven G. Durrants challenge from conference and this week my scripture is Alma 7:23.
My companion is good but again spanish is hard. It is the most challenging thing for me right now but I know I will get the hang of it. Also, since he is Latino, he will drink or eat anything and I am always worried I am going to sick.
My shoes are not as warn in as I had hoped and have started to get some small blister so I am rotating through shoes right now too. The people here are all really nice and it is very humbling. Theft and crime is not a problem in my area and I feel really safe. We have taught many lessons and yesterday got a bautismal date for October 31.
Planes also fly over our house all day and have woken me up a number of times, they are so loud. Only bed sheets I have is that of which mom packed, I need to buy a larger blanket I think, but for now it is all good.
Also, I never make food, never really eat at home. home is only for shower, bathroom, study, and sleep. I think I am losing weight because I do not eat nearly as much but it is all good because I am not ever very hungry. All the meals are small too.
I think that is it for this week.