Okay, I'm finally a missionary! I'm sorry we weren't able to write last week but I finally received your package, THANK YOU SO MUCH. It was at the mission office with letters from Paige and President Hixson. And yesterday I received dearelders from Dave, Grandma/pa, Cole, Piage, Shauna and Austin. I also got letters from Annie Tenney, Baby Sarah and Cristina, Austin, Terri Lamp and the pictures from Jenna. Please let them know I got their letters and I really appreciate them! Unfortunately, I don't have stamps and sending letters is super hard because you have to get them to the AP's. So I won't be able to respond much anymore. But if they ask questions then I will try to answer them in my weekly email (which will be on Tuesdays, unless we are too busy.)
Now to give you the details! We left the CCM last Tuesday and the first night, all of the new missionary sisters stayed in a bunk house. Unfortunately, my bag was on another bus and after a long day, I arrived to the bunk house and realized I had no pajamas or clothes or anything for the night or the next day (but the elders assured me that it was okay because the bunk house had shampoo...............) But luckily I had your package so I could sleep with my tummy bear.
I was then assigned to the Amatitlan zone and I am in a little residential area called La Mariposa. It is hilly and I wake up to a volcano every morning, it's pretty hot and there is a lot of walking involved. The houses are modest but have floors and are very colorful. In Mariposa, there are about 500 Guatemalan people and now one white person (me).
My new companion is about 5 feet tall and is from Bolivia. She doesn't speak a lick of English but she loves singing American music. We have a lot of fruit flies everywhere and she was getting sick of them. So on P-Day, I was writing in my journal and she said, "Look." I then looked up to see her holding a machete and wearing an ice age hat. She then informed me that she was going to take care of the fruit flies and she started cutting down the plants in our backyard. It was funny but a little scary.
I learned a couple things the past week. First of all, you know the song "la cucaracha, la cucaracha"? Yeah, I quickly learned that is wasn't just a fun word when there were three of them in our room. I also learned that I can eat tomatoes! It's kinda like dry-swallowing a big pill but I can do it and with time, I hope I can like them.
My second day in the field, I contacted a bus! Which means I stood at the front and told everybody who we were and that we have an important message about Jesus Christ and that they could give us their address and we can pass by and share the message with them and their family. It was pretty scary since I'm still not super comfortable with my Spanish but I did it! My Spanish is improving and it is hard to type in English (my journal entries are now Spanglish). But tell Andy that I will try to remember how to speak Spanish because I "might need it when I get back." ;) The buses are crowded and pretty crazy because there are so many people. I know Nate missed surfing when he was here but if he rode the buses at all then his balance would improve even more!
I'm still reading the Book of Mormon in Spanish but it's taking so long! I hope to finish it soon because it is really helping my Spanish!
I love being out here! I'm always tired, hungry, confused and HAPPY. Although I can't speak Spanish that well, I can teach about Christ and I always know what to say in lessons. It's amazing that I can share what I know in a different language. I love you all! I will try to send pictures now but I'm not quite sure how...
Here is another quick story she sent to me in a short email:
during a lesson last week, i pulled out a picture of you and dad that i keep in my scriptures. we were teaching a family that has been taking lessons for two years but havent committed to being baptized. we were talking about the importance of baptism and how families can be together forever. i showed them the picture (the one of dad kissing you on the cheek) and told them that because of my parents decisions, i can be with them forever. and i am here in guatemala because i want other families to be together forever. the wife then said that she would pray about eternal families and that if she receives an answer and feels the spirit, she will be baptized. the father is a little bit more hesitant but we will work with him. i miss you and am so happy that i am yours.