Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Rainiest Drought

Last week they told us that we wouldn´t have running water for the next three days, and my response was ´´What in the world are we going to do for 3 days without water?´´ After 3 days they came by and told us that the next two weeks would be suffered without running water. Que suerte! Every couple of days we wake up absurdly early to travel to the house of other missionaries, shower, and get back in time to start our day, but it is too expensive to go very often. The good thing is that it has been raining a lot recently. So we filled up a plastic trash can, several empty 3.3L soda bottles, the vegetable tray from the fridge, and a blender pitcher with rain water that runs off our roof. Gotta enjoy the challenges in life, not endure them! We have changes tomorrow, and I am staying here, while my companion moves on to bigger and better areas (With running water). 

Chillin' on the dock with my companion
Our Photos activity didn´t work out quite how we wanted it too. We got everything looking great, and everything ready, only for some intense rain to crash our party. Nobody came... But we are going to attempt it again in two weeks!
 I talked a little bit with Katie at church, but not too much.  (Katie is Colllin’s Grandmas friend from Utah who is in Guatemala leading  a humanitarian trip. Collins Grandma and cousin are going on a humanitarian trip to the same tiny, remote area where he is living in June, which is miraculous as they had their trip planned long before Collin was ever called to Guatemala. They will get to see him at church, drop off a little care package and bring home his photos!) She couldn´t believe who I am. Usually when the white people come to church I don´t know what to talk to them about, so I just let them have their cool foreign language, see that church here is basically the same experience as at home, say hi, and that’s about it.
Coin collection Americas! Every coin is worth about 12 cents US

 It´s going to be hard adjusting back to white culture when I get back. I certainly won´t have to get used to having hot, running water on demand though. Wow this sucks not having running water! My new companion tomorrow is in for a terrible surprise! J Let me know if there is anything here you want me to get and send back with grandma, though I suppose she could probably just get it for you. I don´t think there is anything that I need from there, but I will definitely send the memory card to my camera home with her- that’s a really good Idea! I do have another one here. What day are they coming?

Ciao, Elder Rice

Can you believe I eat like a king among missionaries? You should see what the other missionaries eat regularly.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Fotos Gratís, Mayonaisse, and a really tough tree

A service activity that we frequently do is chopping wood. (Well- mostly me, because my companion can´t do it very well, so he just chats it up with the people) This week we found a lady trying to chop some logs up, but not making any progress. So we offered to help her out. I had seen her struggling to split any wood, so I made sure that the first swing would be really impressive. Now, I am used to how hard the wood is here, but holy cow! Usually the axe just gets stuck, and you have to hit the same spot on the log several times to split it. I gave it all the strength that I had, and the axe just bounced right of the wood. It was the craziest thing I have seen in some time! So I tried again, and the same thing happened. Finally on the third swing the log just broke open, but the axe never entered the wood.

I had divisions with our district leader last week in their area. It was sweet! Their house is really awesome. It´s a fairly big, open house in a nice little alley-way in the middle of town. The main feature was the indoor sauna. It had an old oil barrel that had the chimney running through the sauna, but the opening was outside. We had to start a fire in the barrel, and then go inside and splash water on the metal. It was a pretty sweet setup. Anyways, while we were chilling in the sauna right before we went to sleep, the theme of childhood lice instances came up in discussion and made me remember about the time I got lice as a kid. My loving mom got rid of them by putting a bunch of mayonnaise in my hair and putting a shower cap on my head and letting it sit for a pretty good time. It worked, and I am grateful that my mom didn´t just cut all my hair off. Strange which childhood memories come up some times.

We have been struggling a little with the level of enthusiasm of the members here in this area, as well as the small number of people who we have to teach. So we planned an activity that is going to be awesome this next Sunday. We have been inviting everyone we can find to come have their picture taken with their whole family. We will then astutely acquire their addresses to deliver them the picture of their family and share a message about how families can be together forever because God reorganized his church in our days by calling a prophet. It´s going to be sweet.

The “Bigger and Better scavenger hunt you did with the youth at church sounds fun. I have always wanted to play that game, maybe on P-day we will see what happens

That’s cool that Grandma Anderson and Lydia are coming to Guatemala on a humanitarian trip. I recognized the lady you sent me the picture of that they work with. We go to San Andres for church and people from their group have been there the past 2 weeks. I know where the place they stay at is. It is one heck of a long walk there (we don´t have a private bus to drive us down there) We have only gone there once because we had to walk too far... It´s been really weird to have white people that don´t know any Spanish at church. The guy that drives there bus though is getting baptized on the first of June, we just talked to him when he brought the gringos and he got super stoked to get baptized.

The video you mentioned a couple weeks ago about Jesus that went huge on YouTube Because of Him, they gave it to us on a disk in Spanish to watch with people! I was like, Hey, I feel like I have seen this before, and then I remembered that you had told me about it. The only problem here is that tons of people don´t even have electricity in their houses.

I totally forgot to mention that they cut our water for the next 3 days for ´´cleaning´´ or something like that... Pretty great really. Just imagine that nobody in your whole town has running water.... for 3 days... It’s pretty nasty here L We got up at 4am to go down to our district leaders house in Panajachel to shower, shave, brush teeth, etc. The biggest problem that we have is that the local culinary arts have a tendency to increase bathroom usage, but our bathroom has no running water. Thus, the dilemma. (Sorry for that visual!)Enjoy your running, heated, consistent water!

 That’s all for now folks.

Anyways, gotta bounce, write you later, love you bye!

Elder Rice








Tuesday, May 13, 2014

1 Year Baby!

I actually have 2 more days before a complete one year in Guatemala, but its close enough. It has been the hardest but most rewarding year in my life and I am excited for the second half.
Skyping with mom on Mothers Day
Not really too much new stuff to report here. Yesterday we went to a cool little nature reserve thing that had a big butterfly dome, spider monkeys, and an extreme zip line course that goes down the whole mountain. We couldn´t go on the zip lines, but the rest was pretty cool. Sadly I didn´t take my camera, so ya’ll just have to imagine it.
Atitlan Nature Reserve- compliments of our good friends at Google images

We had a pretty cool experience on Sunday. A lady that is a member of the church but hasn´t gone in many years lives in our area... (actually there are tons... anyways...) So she never let us talk with her, and didn´t want anything to do with us, but we always go by and say “hi”, and she always tells us to go away. J Anyways, we found out that her birthday was going to be this last Sunday, so after we got home from calling our families (at about 7pm) we went by her house and said “hi”, and she told us the usual, so we told her happy birthday and she told us: “thanks but I´m busy right now, I need to go”, so we just started singing to her anyways the birthday song in Spanish, and she started crying and let us sit down with her and talk a little bit. It was pretty cool.

You all made fun of my newly acquired accent when we talked-sometimes I have a hard time finding the words I want in English. I´ll have to study English before I come home or something!

Andrea’s birthday watermelon cake looked cool. I totally miss a good cake, I want a nice delicious vanilla cake when I get off the plane in one year!

To answer your question: Yeah, they do celebrate Mothers Day here. It’s very similar. We gave flowers to the branch president’s wife and his mom.

It’s winter here which just means that it rains more. The rain here is super cold, pretty much like back home. I got used to the coast rain, which is actually pretty warm, and feels pretty good.

The guy I mentioned, Irvin, accepted to be baptized on the 25th of this month. He studies in school, which makes him 1 of the only people I know here that actually understands what we are talking about. It’s about as exciting for the branch here as it would be for Vernonia to have a baptism. We are very small.

Peace out, Elder Rice

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Weekly Greetings from Guatemala

Yesterday we went to a museum that was made with artifacts that were found in a city that is about 35meters under the water in the lake here. The city supposedly was destroyed about 1700 years ago, but could have been as early as 2000 years ago... Very interesting. The museum was pretty lame though, I would have rather bought a pizza.

 Farming update: We planted our carrots way too deep apparently, so we are going to have to do it again next week, but our corn should be popping up out of the ground any day now.

Not too much crazy stuff happened this week, and we don´t really have that many people to teach...soooo... that’s about all I got this week. Oh, we did find out that the last time they burned somebody here was about 2 years ago. 2 men and a woman who were extortionists came and did what they do and all, but ended up killing a bus driver. So they whole town shut down all the exits and got all their torches and pitchforks. The extortionists tried to get out in a taxi, but got caught. They brought them to the city square, had a good old fashion lynching trial, poured gas on them, and burned them.... Pretty crazy... The missionaries’ aren’t allowed to go to this town. Supposedly they killed 2 missionaries and burned them way back when...

Mom after hearing your story about the dog licking your toes at someone’s house,I have to say: you would hate it here! The pets are SO NASTY! And there are wild dogs all over that try to attack us. We usually just throw rocks at them though.  That’s cool you went out with the missionaries. And the only requirement for a positive investigator is that they sort of pay attention! I bet it is actually really similar there too.

The mission leaders gave us some sweet super toxic poison that sorta works for the fleas, but I´m pretty much just used to it. They aren’t as bad as mosquitos, and you don´t feel them while you sleep, so it’s all good J

Funny about Andrea wanting a Quincenera. The quince años thing is so huge here.... Along with all the Catholic traditions J I now can recite the Lord’s Prayer in Spanish just from hearing it so many times J

Anyways, that’s all folks.
All is well, Zion Prospers

Love, Collin

PS Super excited for the Mother’s Day skype/phone call. 20 minutes with you and then 20 with dad after. They didn’t give us solid times, so you gotta just wait by the computer anxiously J But it should be between 4:30 and 5 pm Guatemala time