Well, I have been in my area, Villa Nueva, for about a week now. It’s in the nice part of the suburbs, so we only have mild problems with cucarachas (cockroaches) and we have 1 sorta hot shower J We walk A LOT and my Latino companions (another trio) walk sooooo fast... I had to jog most of the first 2 days to keep up. Mom-I think that you would hate it here J The standard of cleanliness is... 3rd world. It’s been hard to adapt to just accepting the dirt and the cockroaches... LOL we had one in our house the other day that was a good inch and a half not counting the legs and antenna. I took one of our bowls, and one spoon and claimed them for me, and keep them with my food, so nothing can get in them.
We have buses here called tomatos (in Spanish of course) that we can ride when we have to go really far for only 2 quetzales (like 20 cents I think). Every time we ride on the buses one of us stands up and announces our intention to convert and baptize everyone on the bus (just kidding) We just announce that we are missionaries and will pass by to note people’s addresses and share a short message. Its kinda fun, cause you just walk around on this bus that’s driving thru terrible roads at higher than they should speeds. J
We are on track to baptize 14 people this month with just my companionship: Elder Vallejos (my trainer the next two changes) and Elder Martinez. They are both great guys and great missionaries. The area here is sooo poor. You all wouldn’t believe it. I’ve heard places like this described before my mission and I don’t think anyone can really understand without actually being somewhere like this. Everyone seems happy enough though, this is what they know.
The best part about that is that everything is SOO cheap! We can buy bread from these little panadarias for like 1 quetzal, which is just absurdly cheap! It’s just like one serving of bread though. They have doughnuts, pan dulce, rolls, etc. which we like to eat while we walk.
We have a member of the ward here that cooks us lunch everyday for 15 quetzales and does our laundry J It’s great, it’s the only real meal I get usually. I did buy oatmeal and brown sugar yesterday though for breakfasts (the sugar here is TAN RICO! And soooo cheap! It’s the natural kind)
Sorry for the poor grammar and sentence structure, we don’t have much time! It is so different here than in the CCM. We are ALWAYS busy! Siempre tememos prisa! Which means that we walk fast everywhere, and never waste time. It is very hard to adapt to. I wish that I had more time to write, because there is so much that happens, but its hard to remember it all in the 1 hour a week that we have for email, and we have noooo time to do stuff like letters. Wake up, 30 min exercise, shower, eat, study, walk, talk with people (only in Spanish, can you believe it?), teach lessons, get home, plan the next day, mayyyybeee eat if there´s time, and sleep. Wash ,rinse repeat!
That’s about all that I have to say right now I think. Enjoy the great life you have living in the states! Seriously!
Siempre con amor, Elder Rice
Oh yeah! I forgot a few things I was asked to describe. Our house first! It’s pretty big for this area, 1 floor-very open because we all sleep in one room, and we have one room for studying. We have 2 other rooms that are pretty much empty, a kitchen, 2 baños, but only one has hot water for the shower, and a 3 car garage that is pretty much just another huge empty room, since it has no doorway. The shower with warmish water has an adapter that is wired to the overhead light that heats the water (loose wires and stuff, its awesome) and you have to have the water pressure pretty low or it’s just cold. but having hot water at all is so great!
Every day so far we have had rice with some kind of meat for lunch with our member. Nothing strange really. It all tastes different, but it’s not like really weird. For breakfast the first week I had this sweet marshmallow and chocolate sugary things.. mmmm... I bought oatmeal though, which I have been eating the last 2 days. For dinner-if we even eat dinner-we just have either bread from a loaf, or bread from a panaderia on the way home. My first 3 days though, my companions ordered pizza, as a welcoming gift! The pizza is just about the same. They have all the American restaurants here: Pizza Hut, Dominos, McDonalds, Taco Bell.
Maybe I will have a picture or two next week to send. I am planning on sending a USB with lots home when I fill up my camera, but it probably wont be for a few weeks at least. Also, I was able to buy an mp3 player. Its pretty sweet, I’ll send a few pictures of it next week. Its a little green robot with a USB slot in the back
We have cards here and money, so when I use my own card it will probably just be to let you know that I did something J (Editor/Mom note: I get a notification text from the bank whenever a debit is made from his account) Also, there are Payless Shoe Stores here, so if I do need shoes its no worries. My shoes seem to be doing fine though.