Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Another good solid week

I haven’t been changed yet, still here in Santa Lucia until next week.  I thought I would take the opportunity this week to talk about some more cool stuff that happened to me this week, a family we are going to baptize, and a story that our mission president told a couple of weeks ago about his dad.
Last Sunday we got up early to study before going to church. I am pretty used to getting up ridiculously early, but I still hate it. Anyways, every Sunday a member family gives us lunch and it´s the day we eat the best in the whole week. So we went, and ate a sweet meal of rice, chicken, and… I am not really sure what the other thing we ate was... So we left content and full to go knock on doors and teach some people. Like always it was a hot, humid day. Full stomach, hot day, early morning... Recipe for a nap. So we knock on like 3 doors, and somebody lets us in to teach. As we were teaching I started to fall asleep while my companion was talking, and then it was my turn to explain about apostasy and stuff. I started talking, but the sleepiness didn´t go away. The good thing is that I usually teach people at night while I am sleeping, so I was able to make it through the lesson, but it was a pretty strange lesson.

Yesterday we were walking down a main street to go to the grocery store and get our food for the week. As we were walking I saw a kid, probably 12 or 13 walk up to a door and knock on it, with murder on his face. Another kid his age opened the door (we were about 10 feet back when he opened it) and came out swinging. Both of them got some good hits in. It wasn´t your typical playground fight, these kids were doing some real damage to each other. So I did what anybody would do J I started yelling at them and got in between them. One of the kids backed off, so I ended up just holding one of them back until he calmed down and started crying, and then we left. It was sweet.

We are teaching a family right now that is going to get married this Saturday and then baptized on Sunday. We have seen a complete turnaround in their lives, and they have started coming to church every week. The Rosales Family. It is super cool to see guys stop drinking, and families be able to be happy at home.

 Our Mission President (President M. Joseph Brough) told a sweet story at our district conference. When his dad had just gotten back from his mission, him and his buddy (also a return missionary) had an idea that had to do with computers. They were going to use their idea to start up a company and make a ton of money. But they needed a ridiculously large loan to get it started. Today, the loan would be worth 50 million dollars. So they got an appointment with the owner of American Steel, who apparently is a man with a ton of money (or was at the time, about 50 or 60 years ago). They show up to present their plan to this insanely rich guy in his huge office. But every time they tried to present their plan, the guy would just ask them questions about their life, about the church, about their missions, things like that. Eventually he asks about why the Mormons don´t drink coffee or alcohol, and they try to get back on track, but he never lets them finish their presentation.
Monte  and Emily Brough and Collin

Their time was up and they had to go, but the guy invited them over to his house that night, because he wanted to know more. So they cancelled their flights, and they got picked up by a limo to go to this guy’s huge house. They go into a room with him, and he pushes a button, and one of the walls spins around. On the other side, it’s a bar. (Crazy right, a spinning wall?....one day I will have one!) So he offers them some ridiculously expensive wine. President Brough’s father declines and the owner of the company gets all offended. So he tells him “Now I have to send somebody to the store to buy you a 7-up or something, because you don´t like the stuff I have´”And his dad just responds... “Yup.”  The owner is  offended and talks really harsh to him all night and stuff. So the buddy (who is also an RM) doesn´t want to offend the rich guy, and drinks the wine. They finish off the night and go home and the buddy tears into Mr. Brough for blowing the deal. So he feels awful. The next day, they both get called to the office to talk, and the owner calls in Mr. Brough, but doesn´t let his friend in. He apologizes for the night before and explains what happened. He told him “Í don´t know anything about computers, but I do know men. You´ve got the deal, as long as your friend isn´t your partner.”Just a great example of being obedient to God before men, and sticking to your convictions!

 It is frustrating to see a ton of people get baptized and then stop going to church. The retention of converts just for one year back here is 28%... Preetttttyyy bad.... In my last area when I left we had 95 % though, only 1 convert wasn´t going, and that was only because we never found her house... The problem here is several people don´t live in the area, so we can´t visit them, there are a lot of kids that are like 10 that are the only ones in the house that got baptized, and don´t want to go any more, and a lot of people got close to the missionaries and when they left, they go inactive. Its frustrating. I’m beginning to understand how you feel when you have to be the “bad guy” in a situation. Lots of times it falls on us to correct members. Yesterday we had a member that didn´t want us to bring some new investigators to their family home evening, because she didn´t like the mom of the family. That was already enough to ignite my righteous fury, but my companion being more patient asked her why, and she said because they have just never said anything in the street like ‘good morning’, ‘good afternoon’, or whatever. It was a lame reason, and I was outraged that she wouldn´t help us. Needless to say, we became the bad guys L Everybody loves us though, so she said sorry and we had the family home evening. J



Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hometown Shout Out!

So we had a pretty cool week this week! Yesterday we went to the beach as a zone. Let me tell ya´ll, the beach here is HOT. As missionaries we can´t go in the water, so we just got super sweaty! We played beach volleyball for a bit, ate some hamburgers, and rode in a mini bus completely full of hot sweaty missionaries. It was great!

Collin is in the 2nd row (actually, he IS the 2nd row!) in the blue shirt

Last week I unlocked several achievements during the normal proselyting day. The coolest being that we ordered a pizza on Two-for-one-Thursday, and it showed up in 32 minutes-2 minutes after their guarantee- so we didn´t have to pay for it! ‘Twas pretty awesome. As missionaries in this mission, we have a goal of contacting at least 35 people every day, and at least 10 of them have to be a full family. So as we were going home one night we still needed 1 more family contacted. The streets were completely empty. All of a sudden I see a motorcycle tearing down the road. Turns out there is a whole family on board. So I did the logical thing, and walked out in the street and waved them down, and got their address to go visit them another day. I felt so bold J

Your description of the Russian Olympics sounds a lot like it is here- you wouldn´t believe how many dogs there are on the street!

I realized the other day: I´m going to be 20 pretty soon... I can buy a handgun when I get home! Or go to Vegas! JYou probably shouldn’t bother to send a package for my birthday. I was pretty bummed about the Christmas package not making it here. Maybe just deposit the money in my Swiss account and I´ll get some Oreos or something, and celebrate for real when I hit 21. J

I had a thought the other day. I think it would be super awesome (just for being able to post on Facebook or whatevs) if I went to work the same night I got back. Maybe Erika can hook me up. Glad to hear Jared got accepted to BYU-I. You’re going to be a grandma in no time!!!HAHAHAHAHA

Love, Collin

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Insert generic clever subject line here...

So we are now well into my third change here in Santa Lucia. (Changes are a missionary measurement of time equal to 6 weeks) It is still hot... All the time... We still have about 3 weeks until the next changes meeting, in which the normal thing would be for me to go to a new area. I will be super sad to leave all of the people that I have met here. I won´t miss so much the cold showers every single morning, or the large spiders that frequently show up, or the hot humid climate. I love the work I am doing here, and I love the Guatemalan people. I sent some cool pictures of some Mayan ruins to my mom that she should be putting up on my blog shortly J Some of the rock carvings they had dated back to the Nephite era. Pretty cool just touching things that are as old as the Book of Mormon or the Bible (~2000years ago).

Anyways, not much to report this week. Thanks for reminding me about Valentines Day this week. J I must tell all the girls to ´wait for me´ J
Love, Elder Rice

Sweet rock head we found. Supposedly it is a huge statue that is buried. They tried to take it out with the biggest crane they have here, but the nose broke off, so they just left it. All around are burned candles and there is a fire pit where supposedly they sacrifice chickens or some shenanigans. There were lots of burned chicken remains... Pretty insane stuff

Here is a cool Mayan rock carving of what is supposedly two boxers, with one defeating, and standing triumphantly over the other.

And of course the masterpiece jaguar. I’m determined to carve one to scale when I get home

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Teach and preach and do as missionaries do

Not sure if I already used this subject line... probably already have. So we were walking along the highway a little bit today like 2 hours ago, and these three guys on bikes go by. But not like normal bikes, they had tons of camping and bike touring stuff on the bike. So we started walking super fast and caught up to them (on foot) and started contacting them. They were from France, spoke French, English, and Spanish pretty well. So we invited them to church and all, and they rejected us. It was pretty cool though, just walking them down and walking next to them on their bikes. All the locals were laughing cause we were keeping up with them. Pretty much the highlight of the week.

  I also got some sweet pictures yesterday, but we are super behind today, so we are going to cut our internet short and go work. We had a zone training, and then interviews with the president, and we were there pretty much all day.

Sounds like everything is going super well back home! Thanks for all the updates! Also I, Collin Rice, give you permission to handle my tax refunds and if you so desire, multiply my money through investments and or candy trafficking.

We have been having a hard time recently getting people to be baptized. We don´t really know why. We are doing everything we can and it’s just not happening. But it’s all ok, we´ll have more soon!

 Sorry you’re so cold. The weather here is going to be pretty hot here... Like always J

Love, Elder Rice