Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Be Pilas!

Just letting you all know that we used our Custom Painted Machete... It´s super effective!  With my new and improved lawn mower we were able to cut all our grass in about 10 minutes, but still, it’s about 8 seconds worth of work with a lawnmower, or even just a weed whacker. J

 Not much new stuff going on recently, just teaching people the good word every day, all day, under the hottest sun I have felt in my life. J I love when it rains, it´s like taking a cold shower and washing your clothes at the same time. Also, when the people see us getting soaked and still visiting people, they are way more receptive.

 (These were all answers to question I asked Collin:)
I don´t know anything about the Christmas call yet, I´ll let you know when I do though.

 They don´t celebrate Thanksgiving here sadly, but I´ll be sure to enjoy it.

 The internet cafes here are just rooms with a bunch of computers, nobody has one in their house.

 The kids we always play soccer with on P-day almost never bring shoes, and if they do they bring crocs of flip-flops.

 Thanks for the reminder about the gloves I brought. I actually put some in the bottom of my backpack and carry them around all the time now to avoid any more blisters.

 As far as money to get my comp some Christmas stuff, that is definitely ok, I was hoping to be able to do something for him anyways.

Pilas does mean cool (more or less) another great Guatemalan word is Chambóne, which is used to refer to somebody really lazy

Not too much to write about this week...

 Elder Rice


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

How to Make a Customized Guatemalan Lawn Care Machete and other pics

I have a ton of pictures to send, so I might not write much

Customized Lawn Care Tool

·         Step one, acquire home lawn and garden tool from your local hardware store for 3 dollars.

·         Clean well with soap and water and let dry. Apply Flat Black spray paint in even thin coats to both sides of the tool

·         Allow adequate time for the paint to dry (approximately 6 seconds if you live on the Central American coast)


·         Spray liberally shiny red spray paint onto small piece of cardboard (preferably taken from a large Dominos pizza box) and flick drops of paint on the business end of your custom tool. Apply larger splats as desired. Allow sufficient drying time (again, approximately 6 seconds in direct sunlight)

·         Take the metal file you bought to sharpen your tool and use it to mess up your beautiful artwork, leaving behind some stupid clich√© marking, and then messing it up so it looks even more stupid. You now have a customized lawn care/homeland defense tool

 The three photos are of breakfast, lunch and dinner on one day. I was able to find and use yeast, so the pizza was awesome!



The spider from last week.
Various baptisms that we´ve had recently.


Celebratory measures in commemoration of completing 6 months of dedicated service!


A picture of the after effects of splitting wood for an hour in white shirt and tie.

My shoes currently on active duty. The boots are combat boots from El Salvador that I use when we go off road or when it’s raining a lot, and the shoes I found in the MegaPaca (literally translated Mega Thrift Shop) for about 7 dollars. They are made by vibram and quite possibly the most comfortable shoes I have ever had :)


So I was thinking the other day about all the trips that we took, and I remembered those sweet cloth bag things with like a clear material window, that were filled with rice and various things that you had to search for. Pretty awesome things Mom, thanks.

Love Collin


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Machetes, Spiders, and Sugar Cane

It has been a pretty interesting week! This week started off what they call here the safra. Pretty much all of the guys in the whole town go to cut millions of acres of sugar cane. So there´s not really any men around other than the ones that have regular jobs. The people here go cut sugar cane and get paid enough to make it to the next year, so a lot of them don´t work all year. Cutting sugar cane is apparently very physically demanding, especially in the heat here, so in order to cut enough sugar to have money for the whole year, they all use a mixture of drugs to work harder and longer. One of them makes them sweat cold-for the heat- and helps the body to not feel exhaustion. But this makes them incredibly sleepy, so they take a ton of caffeine to stay awake... It´s great…

 In the spirit of the sugar season, we decided to cut our front lawn, and lacking tools, used a machete J It was super fun for about 5 minutes, until we used an hour of our P-day to do what would take 8 seconds with a lawnmower.
Finally, we came face to face with one of earths ugliest creations ever. I was able to document it´s existence with my camera, but sadly didn´t bring it today, because we have divisions with our District leader and I didn´t want to carry it around all day. But I will describe the scene for ya´ll. We got home after a regular day of teaching lessons, went in the house and turned on the fan, because even at 9:20pm it is way too hot! We planned our next day and did various things that needed done. I changed into shorts and flipflops and went into the bathroom to.. well.. use the bathroom, and to my horror discovered the 8 legged freak that starred in the movie “8 Legged Freaks” (A mediocre movie I watched quite a while ago).But this guy was seriously way too big.
All of you that have known me for any time probably know that I have a little bit of an irrational fear of our 8 legged co-inhabitants. But there was nothing irrational about the fear of this monster. It was the size of my hand (I´ve got the pictures too!) an ugly hairy brown color, and just chilling in our bathroom. My companion brought the RAID for large insects that we have, and gave it a little taste of chemical engineering, after which it crawled into the corner and supposedly died. Remembering an experience of one of my youth leaders about a large spider that got away while he went to get something to use to kill it, I stayed and watched... And sure enough after about 2 minutes it sprang back to life! At this point my companion was talking with our district leader about our day, and I was left alone to battle the thing. Using the indiscriminant justice of chemical warfare, I painted the small animal we call spider with toxic venom, and once more it died. Not trusting even the chains of death I waited- and sure enough, he rose the second time from his tile grave. I then fought with it the third time and sealed his fate and he died. Finally. Then, about 3 days later, we found another one, larger than the first, in our bathroom. The same things happened, except I used a broom instead of chemical death. Quite the harrowing experiences.

 Thanks for the biscuit recipe. I´ll have to make them in a frying pan, but we´ll see what happens. Also, the photo albums you sent are one of the most precious things that I have, so-good job! J

As always, with love,

Elder Rice


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

This weeks broadcast from sunny Santa Lucia, Guatemala!

Well, we had our changes last Wednesday, and as expected I got transferred. I am in El Palmar, Santa Lucia, which is a little tiny town about 30 minutes from the coast. My new companion is from here in Guatemala, from the capital, and has been out about 9 months. Our house here is actually pretty nice, I´ll send some pictures next week maybe. So we had to take a 2 hour bus ride, with suit cases and all. It was alright actually, I just talked to a few people there riding the bus and then slept. When I woke up I knew I was in trouble... The first thing I noticed about the area is that... IT IS HOT! But seriously... It´s hot!

The town where I´m at is really peaceful and quiet, which is completely opposite from where I was before. The people here are all very, very humble, and for the most part at least are willing to talk with us. The streets here are mostly dirt and rocks, with a couple of the main streets being cement, but the coolest part is that a lot of the streets end leading straight into the jungle! This area is exactly what I imagined Guatemala would be like before I left. It is very different, but I like it so far and I´m excited to be here! The only problem here is the mosquitos... Even if we kill all of them in our house before we leave, or before bed, there are always more within hours, and if we closed all the windows we would literally cook in our house... But It´s not too bad... OH! The hardest part is that we don´t have hot water anymore. Our water comes out of a well in our backyard... Taking a cold shower at 7am everyday really sucks... But the good thing is that when you get out you dry off and warm up pretty fast. I didn´t have much time to write this week, because there were some problems with the computer here in the internet cafe, but I will write more next week!

Also, Mom-Can you use baking powder to make bread rise? Some dude tried to tell me that in the store the other day... And does it rise while cooking or does it need to sit a while? How much do I need in comparison to yeast? Send me a biscuit recipe for next week please! Thanks, got to go. Love you!
Love, Elder Rice