Sunday, June 29, 2014

Grandmas Visit to Guatemala

The people in the branch love Collin. The Branch Pres. told me he walks so far every day to the top of the mountains with a smile on his face. The Pres. invites him over for food and he eats and eats and they laugh. The people in the branch all wanted to hug Lydia and I because we belonged to Collin. They love him so much. We gave his companion the gifts from home with a wink in his eye and any extra skittles in his pocket.
Here is a picture of the Branch President with Lydia and Kathi 

These are the mountains that Collin walks to every day.

This is Irvin. We fell in love with him. he is a new convert that Collin helped teach. He is one of the most fun, loving young man I have ever met. We took a complete set of engraved scriptures down to him.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Return of Elder Rice

My companion convinced everyone that my 1 week divisions was actually a permanent change and that I wouldn´t be back. Some he told I had got super sick, or in an accident, or that I had committed a sin. So when I walked into the church when I got back everyone was all like, “What in the world!” It was sweet.
We had our Zone P-day yesterday, which turned out winning top 3 in the zone P-days that I have had. We broke up into teams and played little mini games to see who comes out on top. Obviously my team was the winning team. J Then all the Elders went outside to play soccer, and the sisters watched the movie “17 Miracles” in the kitchen, while yours truly, Chef Rice, whipped out 12 pizzas from scratch to feed everybody. The best part was that everybody was super stuffed with pizza for only about 40 bucks.

Last week I was in San Lucas Toliman for a week. It was alright and all, except I only had 1 pair of clean clothes to take with me.  I gave some dirty clothes to the lady that washes the clothes there, and then her dad died the next day, so I ended up in the same clothes for the whole week. Moreover, while on these week long divisions, we had divisions with another area, Santiago, for a day. The elders there are the only ones in the mission that speak in another language, because everyone there speaks in Tzutujil. So I pretty much just followed my temporary, temporary companion around, as I don´t speak in Tzutujil. But I did get to know San Pedro la Laguna, another very touristy area. Overall, one of the craziest weeks I have had. I felt like a traveling pastor or something, with just my scriptures and about 15 dollars travelling all over for a week.

The best part?- After being in a bus or in a pickup for about 4 hours, I got back here in San Andres, and the water was off again, and it has been off since I got back. Apparently they had water all week, and then when I got back it left again. For sacrifice we receive blessings, eh?;)

All I sent back with grandma is my pictures and a letter for a friend... this sentence sounds wrong for some reason... I got a ton of sweet stuff though. The socks are exactly what I wanted, all of my socks have big holes in the heels, so they are a great relief to have! Much thanks to everyone who contributed!

I totally feel for the missionaries there, and their feeling like they’re in a bad relationship- pouring their whole hearts into someone and then being rejected. I imagine that this part of Guatemala is more like the states as far as rejection goes. In other parts pretty much everybody will at least let you talk to them, but here people just tell us they are busy and to come back another day. We try to be really careful with our word choice and our questions so that the people either have to accept us or else condemn themselves by saying that they don´t want anything we have to offer. We read D&C 1 the other day, which at the beginning talks about how everyone will have to hear the gospel, and then we talked about how there won´t be any excuse one day. So we have to work in such a way that everyone gets a very good, fair chance.

Kinda funny how Andrea got her permit no problem on the first try J I´m pretty surprised that you let her drive the Prius even just in a parking lot!

Elder Rice


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Incognito in Guatemala

I’m glad Grandma and Lydia got to Guatemala okay. I helped translate for the last group that came in and gave away vitamins and taught about healthy living. They were apart from the group Gma went with though. Since I’m not allowed to have visitors while I’m here, our mission president has me in a nearby area until grandma leaves, which is pretty much just a vacation for me in a big house, with plenty of electricity, hot nice showers, and more friendly people. J Here’s my undercover story: (please read in a mysterious voiceJ)Starting last Friday, and lasting until the coming Saturday I am in an undisclosed location of the American Continent working as the companion of one Elder Haertel. The details of the current situation cannot yet be disclosed as the situation is ongoing. I have however received reports from a Central American contact that our plans to bring 15 or more new people to church have not yet been realized... Over.
So far lots of cool stuff has happened here. One of the days we spent knocking doors and ran into this absurdly polite British guy that rejected us so pleasantly that I feel like it made me into a better person. We also talked to a young adult woman, who, after several minutes of talking, disclosed that she had actually been born and mostly raised in Canada, and spoke fluent English.

Yesterday we climbed the famous ``Hill of Gold``, which was alright, pretty much just a big hill close to the lake where supposedly the Mayans hid a ton of gold, but they really just use it to grow corn and coffee on the hillside. Also, I stepped in a big ant hill the other day and it was like that scene in the newest Indiana Jones where the ants consume the flesh of the people... it was great. We also had a little earthquake, but it was just a tremor at 6:30am.

Funny story: the other day we were knocking doors and we taught a family of a mom and her 5 daughters. So after the lesson I asked them if they wanted to see a magic trick, and I did the classic bill change one I learned before I left, in which I turned 25Q into 500Q. They were all blown away, so we bounced to leave them in shock. We got out to the main street, and all of a sudden all five of the girls are running after us with a 50Q bill in their hand yelling for us to wait. We just told them we can`t use our powers to get gain J Magic tricks are the only way we have found so far to get people to not just ignore us when we talk to them in the street, so I have been brushing up a bunch! J

That’s cool Jared decided on business management as a major.  I have been thinking a lot, and I actually think that that is something that I want to get into also when I get back, we`ll see what happens eh? I have also thought of maybe trying to be a translator, but who knows what kinds of opportunities there are out there for that.
Paz y Bendiciones,

Elder Rice
The pictures of Lydia you sent are right outside the church.
Here’s a link to her travel blog if you’d like to check her out

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Great Apostasy of the Running Water

Well, guess who doesn´t have running water again! Que bendición!

This week has been pretty good. Riding in the back of a super full pick-up the other day I was sitting closest to the cab, just chilling. All of a sudden I spot something in the corner of my eye. Coming out of the crack between the cab and the bed, a rather large, bright green spider comes on out. Being that the truck was completely full, I had no option but to maintain my calm and hope the sucker didn´t try anything. Fortunately he was just along to chill, but holy cow I thought I was donezo.

Our district won the most successful district in the zone, so the zone leaders bought us all cake, it was pretty sweet. This week we have just been knocking a ton of doors, because we have pretty much nobody to teach now. We found like 20 people this week that are totally willing to listen to us. Not as many as I have gotten used to, but for where we are a great achievement. Our goal is to baptize somewhere around 12 of them, and if everything goes well it will be at the end of this month. We shall see.

We are going to have a new mission president starting from the 27th of this month. It is going to be weird, as I have grown to love this one very much and learned many, many things from him. More than anything I have learned from him and his wife the importance of not only being obedient, but being exactly obedient. Also, the importance and the results of, diligence. There is urgency in everything! ! I wouldn´t want to take the shoes of President Brough here, it would be seriously difficult. Our new mission president is President Markham. He is from California. One of the elders that came in with me had him as a stake president.

Adiós! Elder Rice

Also- Here's a newsletter from the humanitarian group that is serving in Guatemala. Collins Grandma and cousin are going down to help next week. Collin is the missionary they mention in the last paragraph J

 June Education Team 2014
As an Oregonian, I know what I am talking about when I say I have never seen such rain in my life!  It is chilly and wet and it has been raining for over 24 hours. The electricity was off for over 6 hours yesterday throughout the small towns in this area. I of course am warm and dry in my layers and rain jacket in a strongly built edifice but I can only imagine the discomfort and pain this is causing the citizens who will come to our clinic next week and to the children you will teach.  I am sending this out to you to remind you to bring some warm clothes. I wear blue jeans, long sleeved t-shirt, warm hoodie and rain jacket with socks and athletic shoes. Next week we will mostly wear scrubs but can layer them too if necessary. After giving you this warning, you could arrive here and find it sunny and beautiful as it was last Saturday when it was t-shirt and sandals weather.
I have this week off after three teams have come and served and am organizing, catching up, writing reports and then will spend three days in Antigua sleeping and eating at Subway and Marco Polo (ice cream). I just polished off an avocado from the tree next to the clinic so you can see I am well provided for.
Some of you may remember  Irvin, the teacher at Casa de Sion, a young man who works during the week and attends law school on Saturday. For the past four weeks he has driven us to San Andres on Sunday and we noticed he has been coming to church with some of us. Yesterday much to our surprise he was baptized!  Not only that, the missionary who taught him was Kathi and Bryce Anderson's grandson. Kathi is a member of the June education team. I just had to share that as it is a great example of how interconnected we are in this very small world and the people you will be serving will love and accept you and are in need of your sacrifice and service.
Con amor,

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Restoration Of the Running Water Of San Andres

We finally got running water back last Sunday in the morning. Wow, what a relief! Taking bucket showers here is the most awful experience!!! To cope we have been collecting rain water that runs off our roof for the ´´shower´´ and just using dirty dishes for all of our food. We also used a new technique in the bathroom called the bucket flush! Who would have thought that you can flush the toilet with half the water if you just pour the water straight into the toilet bowl to flush? We did have to do a pretty serious cleaning yesterday to bring the house back to livable standards, but all is well now.
You will all be very pleased to know that my small garden is growing finally. The corn is now about a foot tall, and the carrots finally came up.  Who knows if I will be here to harvest, but at least I´ll leave behind something cool for the next guy.

We had our first baptism in this area this last Sunday! His name is Irvin Giron, and he has to be the best convert I have had in my whole mission. The whole service went great, but the coolest part was at the end he got up and shared his testimony of what we had taught him, and his determination to serve God. It was awesome to see how much he changed his life after hearing the Gospel.

My new companion is from Honduras. His name is Elder Rodriguez and he is one of the best companions that I have had so far. He only has 1 more change after this one, so he has had lots of experience here as a missionary. He is very organized and a very good teacher, and I have been very happy with our companionship so far. He did have a pretty rough time coping with the lack of running water, but it’s all over now, so we´re good.

So, I talked to the mission president and he said that its best that I am in a different area the day that grandma comes down, so she won´t actually be able to see me, but I´m going to leave stuff with my companion for her to take back, and she can leave things with him for me if she can. (I thought of some things I would really like for Grandma to bring me J New black socks -the black Hanes ones are pretty good, or any other kind, just as long as they are thick and not of the dress style- And a huge bag of Swedish fish, if there is room J and some flashlights from Costco.) Just not really sure if and or how I should tell grandma...

That’s all for now folks,
Love, Collin