Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Que esta pasando!!!?!?!

New Christmas look (aka the hair cutting guy went crazy)


Christmas week was ridiculously crazy here! Here comes just a few of the most crazy events that happened. To start off the week, my companion and I were talking with that 'one more person' before we went to go hang out with the branch president until midnight on Christmas Eve. While talking to him in the street all of a sudden my companions eyes got real big and his jaw dropped, and he pointed towards the main street. Some poor guy had had a little way too much to drink and had fallen down in the street at the exact moment that a pickup truck went past, which.... well... ran him over. He was still groaning as the truck sped off (probably also drunk). So my companion and I took off to go tell the ambulance that was a couple blocks away. Not really sure what happened to the guy, but it was a pretty interesting way to start off Christmas.

Yup, that's a missionary action figure sent in his Christmas package-
 it came complete with a Latino companion!

Then we had Christmas, and I called home and all that good stuff. (Thanks for the package. It was awesome. Also, my companion loves the apron and the little missionary guy you sent him!)
The next day we had to go to the hospital in the capital, because my companion said he had a fractured shin. President Markham said that if it was fractured he was going home right away. So we went to the hospital for some x-rays. Turns out it is just sprained really bad, which just means he can`t be walking too fast or running... (sadly) Before this happened I had already got him to put a new hole in his belt making it about 2 inches shorter (he’d lost some weight from all our running!) J
Then on Sunday we had our 2 baptisms that we had planned. Everything was stellar. But the best is still to come.  A young man named Alejandro came to church for the first time since I have been here. About a year ago he was going to be baptized, but his mom didn`t give him permission, as she considered him too young to be baptized. Anyways, he goes to study in a small town in the mountains, and there is not a church there. He is leaving for this town next week. So we got permission from the mission president to baptize him that very same day! We met him, convinced his mom to let him get baptized, taught him all the lessons, and got all the stuff ready. He needed an interview before he could get baptized, and since it was already pretty late the zone leaders couldn`t come out, so the mission president told me to just do it myself. So I interviewed him, and as soon as we finished, I baptized him. Talk about in before the 2015 buzzer! All of this happened between the hours of 6pm and 9:40pm. Pretty much the craziest Christmas I have ever had.

Just taking random photos of everyone...
little did I know that in just 5 more hours I would be baptizing this kid too!

 Did you all watch the “He Is The Gift” Video? We’ve only used it 5 or 6 times, as nobody has DVD players here. like... nobody... much less internet in their house.

 Anyways, all is well.
VA PUESSSS, Elder Rice

PS- You think I could get a job at the school as a translator?

Weddings are so great!
 I've become quite the event planner!

      Various Christmas presents that I made and/or painted.


Various Christmas presents that I made


Homemade Christmas present for Daniel Chocoj
(Rubber band gun?...)

I think that's all of the good ones!

It's the final countdown...!
Apr. 26 is Collins birthday, April 30 is the day he'll come home!


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Feliz Navidad!

On Sunday the Relief Society (the name of the women’s organization in our church) got up on the stand to sing a Christmas hymn. They had formed a special choir for the occasion of about 8 people. The best part was that there were more of them in the choir than those sitting in the congregation. They did a great job though, and everybody that came late missed out. Did you already see ``El es la Dàdiva``? ("He is the Gift" around there in your parts) It’s an amazing short video about Christmas- everyone should watch. 

Christmas is in what- like 2 days? We organized a sweet Christmas activity for today with the whole branch. Christmas carols, tamales, punch, and a live nativity scene. My companion and I totally planned the whole activity today in the morning, even though we have been inviting people for over a week. I am so busy its crazy... We are going to read LUKE 2:1-20 and pause every couple of verses and have a youth choir that we organized sing carols. Gonna be sweet. And if not, at least there will be food.

We had a wedding on Saturday for a couple that is getting baptized on the 28th. They had been living together for 10 years already and are rather adorable together. We expected about 20 people, so we only got one cake. Then out of nowhere, about 60 people showed up. More people came to the wedding on Saturday than to church on Sunday. Gotta love it J Slowly but surely, eh?!

I hope Christmas is superb. My package you sent is still unopened! Christmas day I will open it. My companion got a package from the mission president as his family didn`t send anything so I’m glad you were able to include a few things for him. I will have 40 minutes to Skype on Christmas. I`ll probably call you first and then Dad. Be ready from about 11:30 to 11:45 my time J

Thanks as always for all of the updates! Love you guys lots!
I wish everyone a Merry Christmas!
Elder Collin Rice

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Things are getting crazy for Christmas!

To start off the week with my new missionary companion, an inactive member of the church was murdered last week. The branch president was working far away, the Elders quorum president was super, super sick in bed, and well, they are about the only 2 that could speak in a funeral service.... So the task fell on us. They called us with about 10 minutes warning that they needed us to direct and speak at the funeral service. Long story short, my newly arrived companion had to speak in front of about 100 people not of our faith on his first day. It was... interesting...

Then, this last Sunday, we both had to talk, as the people assigned to speak didn`t show up. It was pretty great. While I was up front giving some loving chastening about keeping the Sabbath day holy and obeying the Word of Wisdom, a lady stood up and accused one of our investigators of saying she wanted to kill her. Then she started yelling at everybody for not smiling at her or saying hello, grabbed a guys hand and then fell backwards onto the floor. After which she got up, yelled some more, sat back down, stood back up, yelled some more, told me to keep talking up front, sat down in the front row, stood up, and left.... The new people we had brought were... less than impressed.... You just never know what you`ve got to be ready for, eh?

I was feeling the burning sensation in my bones that indicates dengue`s big brother Chikunguña last Tuesday. Miraculously, it hasn`t hit me yet, so I think your prayers helped out! Thanks!

You could keep writing Elder Lemus. He would like that! My new companion is great! I totally forgot to write about him in the weekly letter. Remind me to write about him next week.

All is well here! The earthquakes aren’t too serious. They just make all the people say that the Bible says that there will be earthquakes before the end of the world. If you are familiar with the Pharisees in the New Testament, it is basically exactly how the ‘religious people’ act. It’s pretty funny really.

We will be Skyping on the 25th. Info is limited, but just in case get me your Skype, and dads too if you can.

I know my flight home date already! My Zone Leader bought it a couple of months ago before they sent him here.
Adios! Love you lots!

Baptisms 11/29/14
It's a bit hot and sweaty!
Our mission zone
Elder Lemus and Elder Rice

Our little fridge. Cookies, refried beans and eggs :)

A letter from the mission president

Querida familia de Elder Collin Taylor Rice,

Con profundo amor les informo que Elder Rice ha sido llamado ser entrenador en la misión Guatemala Ciudad de Guatemala Central. Esta es considerada una responsabilidad enorme, la de supervisar y guiar el desempeño inicial de un nuevo misionero.

El manual del Presidente de Misión menciona, “Una de las expresiones más grandes de confianza que le puede ofrecer a un misionero es asignarlo o asignarla como entrenador de un misionero nuevo. Elija sólo a los misioneros más aptos para prestar servicio en esa asignación”. Es esa la confianza que yo tengo en Elder Rice.

Apreciamos a Elder Rice por la entrega que ha demostrado a la obra del Señor. Agradecemos su apoyo y oraciones hacia esta obra.

Melvin G. MarkhamMission President

With deep love I inform you that Elder Rice has been named to coach in the Guatemala City Central Mission. This is considered a huge responsibility to supervise and guide the initial performance of a new missionary.

The mission president manual mentions, "One of the greatest expressions of confidence that you can offer a missionary is to allocate or assign them to coaching a new missionary . Choose only the fittest missionaries to serve in that assignment . " That is the confidence I have in Elder Rice.

We appreciate Elder Rice for delivery that has proven his commitment to the Lord's work . We appreciate your support and prayers for this work.

Melvin G. Markham Mission President