Tuesday, April 22, 2014

I´m going to the Mountains of Solola to dwell baby!

 Changes! I went from one of the hottest zones in the mission, to one of the coldest! I am in San Andres Semetabaj, Solola. It´s a small mountain town super far away from everything. We left the change meeting at about noon, and got to our house at about 7:30pm. Our area is Gigantic! We have our little town where we live, and then all of the small mountain communities nearby, some as far as an hour away hitchhiking.... It is AWESOME! At night there are tons of fireflies that dot the nearby mountainside which is super sweet! It is way cold though! After being in the hot humid coast for 6 months I am having a hard time adjusting to the cold again. The climate is about like Oregon in the spring. The town we live in is built right on the mountain, so the hills on the roads here are just insane. There are hills the cars can´t even get up without a running start.
The road in the background goes to a small town that is part of our area.

 The other real challenge here is that the people don´t all speak Spanish. And many that do speak Spanish, don´t speak it very well. The social structure is kinda like a family clan type thing, so usually somebody in the family that speaks good Spanish and good Quiche’ (K’iche’) lives next door to translate if we need it. It’s super safe here too. They don´t even put bars on the windows of the stores. This is due to the fact that if someone is seen robbing a house or a person, everyone shouts really loud and comes out of their houses with torches and pitchforks... It doesn't really happen often, because they burn the accused.... Anyways, keeps it nice and tranquil here. J
Normal roads. The trees are really similar to what is in eastern Oregon

We have one family way out in the hills that we are teaching. We have to get up ridiculously early to get there at a reasonable hour and still find a pickup back home, usually like 4am. So the pickups drop us off at the entrance of this huge canyon, which is 7km from the town we want to go. So far we have always had a ride in and out, but my companion says that every once in a while we´ll have to walk it. The last time we went there, the pickup we were riding back broke down in the middle of the canyon and we were just stuck there for half an hour while he fixed the super corroded battery connections.

Elder Flores and the view of the valley where we live, from a small town up on an insanely huge hill!
 My new companion issss..... Elder Flores! It has been pretty sweet working with him again. He is from Peru! I was already his companion, in my first change when I was in a trio with Elder Vallejos. Pretty crazy eh? It doesn´t happen very often that you have a repeat companion.

The area I am in has only had 9 converts in the last year. And all except one are like 12 years old. A normal area here has about 20 or 30 converts from the year, sometimes way more.... They haven’t had an adult man baptized here in like 5 years.

 Wow, I totally forgot about that poetic birthday rap that Andrea wrote. Super sweet of her. Sadly, I doubt I will be getting a cake this year, but maybe I´ll just buy one J The place here has a giant tourist trap one hitchhike away, so they sell a ton of American food. Food won´t be a problem here.
Thanks for your concern, but I’m feeling much better this week. I know you think I should have stayed home when I was sick- but there is no rest in the mission! Being deathly sick like that means you don´t have to walk so fast, but that’s about it. It was just a 2 day punishment for eating insanely spicy food prepared in less than ideal conditions. Haha, my companion and I can´t believe the missionaries didn´t have any visits so they just came to hang out with you guys and  color Easter eggs.J I guess the mission culture is different here.

Anyways, that´s all for now,
Elder Rice
When moving to a new area, be sure to properly secure your garden tools in your suitcase for transport in crazy buses






1 comment:

  1. Ooooooh my gosh!! Are you kidding me.!! Elder Flores and you are companions again. That is so very Amazing, great, incredible.. Uuuuff I remember our TRIO. I miss you guys.. :-) :-)

    Elder Vallejos