Date: December 19, 2013
Area: CCM (MTC in Guatemala City)
Companion: Elder Oliveira
I'm not sure how well structured my e-mails are going to be, but we shall see.
First of all, I did safely make it into Guatemala and someone was waiting for us at the airport to take us to the CCM about a 10 minute or less drive away. I am in the district of Isaias, with three other missionaries. There are certainly only 12 missionaries in the CCM right now, until next week when it is projected that we will get a large group.
My companion is Elder Oliveira, he is from Brazil and speaks Portuguese and a bit of Spanish and a very little bit of English. We get along well, the language barrier isn't too hard of a thing to get over for me. My four years of Spanish have helped immensely and after just one week I know all the tenses. (I have been going ahead of my class studies in my study time as most of it is review for me.)
Elder Gubler is alive and I guess technically he was my first companion.
I was able to take a total of four pictures, one of the airplane, one of my last meal in the States and two in the CCM the first day before my camera was taken from me, for security reasons.
I will usually e-mail on P-days which I did figure out is on Wednesday's for one hour. We hd some very unusual happenings here. The CCM is under construction. Because it is being renovated this week they needed to turn the power off for three days while we stayed in the temple housing. Which wasn't quite different from the CCM housing, just smaller and less showers.
The facilities in the CCM are built for more than just twelve missionaries and they are good and warm and there is food. Plenty of food, three times a day, and I have had no complaints.
I haven't needed to exchange my money for quetz yet, I have spent some money. I needed to buy some new deodorant because I misplaced mine, and I also bought a tie. I will get a picture as soon as I get my camera back.
Yesterday we did get the chance to go to an English session in the Temple, which is literally one block away. It is smaller than the temples at home, but not lacking in spirit.
I did receive two letters yesterday, one of them from mother that was sent on the 4th of December and a Christmas card from the North's in Texas. A few letters are on there way and I will write more. So it takes about two or so weeks for letters to be received here.
My journal is filling up as I have indeed written in it every day. I was hoping to have it with me as I write this e-mail, but I left it up in my room.
While we were staying in the temple housing a family that was from Coban were staying there as well. They are from the Coban stake. He showed me some pictures and shared with me a fantastic story of a large group of baptisms that occurred on the same day. That area looks very green and a bit warmer than here, but it will be fantastic. He also told me a bit about the native language there, that if I do well in my Spanish and learn it well. I may be called by the mission president to go to an area where I need to speak that language. That's what I think right now.
I did find a letter in my folder that was fantastic.
Now about the weather. Guatemala City is called the city of Eternal Spring, and the weather here is perfect. It's not too humid here. I'm not sure about Coban, but here, it's fantastic and it has rained about four times, each time for about 4 minutes or less. There is green all over and it is very pretty.
We got to attend a fireside with one of the seventy, he didn't give a talk, rather we had a question and answer, where he answered what it was like to be a general authority, and how much he traveled, and what his favorite part of being a general authority was.
As you probably already know, the life of a missionary is very busy and one outside the states is no exception. Our time is filled with Spanish studies and spiritual studies alike. At the current moment I have put the grammar part on the back seat in my personal studies and have been focusing on my vocabulary. I am learning so very quickly and I have the desire to learn, both of which are fantastic blessings. There have been times where I think a lesson is a bit boring, but I have still paid attention and taken my notes. There's one page in my notebook that has some of my most useful Spanish notes about the grammar portion and I refer to it often.
When I call on Christmas, or rather when you call me, I'm sure you have the time written down and can't wait for that moment. Also remember that if I do not pick up right away, keep trying. I am thinking in one weeks time from now on Christmas day dad will have a pretty good time having a conversation in Spanish. It is my goal. To speak only Spanish and have a meaningful conversation with him that day. If I do this all of my work thus far will definitely be worth it.
Lo siento por cualquier tipos en mi email, este computadora es en espanol y quiereme escribir solomente en palabras de espanol.
I look forward to more e-mails and more pictures. I love you all, and thank all the North clan and the Barnson's and all the other people that have helped me get here. Hopefully I have sated your questions for now.
Favorite Spanish phrase. 'Espanol es Pan comido' An expression that pretty much means that Spanish is as easy as eating bread.