Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Vamos a la Playa!

Well, I´m back in the delicious heat of the Central American coastland. I am now in Escuintla, which is about 30 minutes or less from where I was the last time I was in the coast. It is equally hot here, and the shower is equally horrid. This time instead of an angled tube coming out of the wall, it is just a tube/jet that shoots cold water straight down. Other than that it´s not too bad here though. There is a grocery store nearby that sells rootbeer for a reasonable price. Even though I am now out of what is the ‘Redzone of Guatemala’, we still have parts of our area where if you go in, you come back out a lot poorer. It’s all good though, so far we haven´t had any problems.

We are teaching a great family here of 6 people. We left them a small assignment to read 1Nephi 10 in the Book of Mormon. Upon returning there again after about 2 days we asked them how it went and the mom of the family told us that she had felt a huge peace and happiness while reading it. Then the husband told us that while they were reading he felt that they were reading something very important, and that what they were reading was true. The husband was super stoked to get baptized; he wanted to get baptized this next Thursday that is coming up. We told him he had to go to church first and then we could baptize him, and he agreed it would be a good idea. The wife also wants to go to the church, but she doesn´t really want to be baptized again, as she did it before in another church. We are going to reel in the kids by inviting them over to a member’s house on Friday to learn from the Gringo how to make pizza. J They are all pretty stoked about it.

Elder Bednars talk on using social media sounded interesting. I just met a guy the other day that just got back from the mission. He served in Washington. I guess that he had to learn English on his mission, but he actually speaks it really well. He said that when he was on his way out they were just starting to test run tablets in the mission and that he never actually got to use one. Here in Guatemala, at least for the near future, there is now way they are giving us tablets. We just barely got cellphones here.

Even though I have gone through more than 8 pairs of shoes here, my first pair of shoes are still going strong. I only use them every once in a while, just so that they can get really destroyed for when I get home. The sole wore all the way through in one spot, so I´ve got a piece of cloth crammed in there to pad my heel. I´m totally bronzing these shoes...

Anyways, gotta bounce, love you, Elder Rice


Monday, August 25, 2014

Lots of pics!

Lots of pictures to send in today, so the letter is going to be pretty short this week. I have changes tomorrow. I was in this area for 6 weeks- nothing more. I just showed up, we found 8 people to baptize and now I'm on to the next one. We had 7 baptisms this weekend, all very incredible people that I have grown to love in so short a time. They all cried yesterday when we told them I have changes this Wednesday.

Locker Room Posers

Hide yo wife, hide yo kids, they baptizing everyone up here
Also, the guy that jacked my companions pen a couple of weeks ago ran into us again as we were going back to our house late. He stopped us and had us translate English Christian rock into Spanish for him for 15 minutes, and then he let us go.

The bonfire was awesome! A huge hit! Everyone wanted to do it again! We brought the hotdogs and marshmallows, one investigator family brought the corn tortillas for the hotdogs, another investigator family brought arroz con chocolate, which is like hot chocolate with rice in it, and the other investigator family brought firewood and set up a tarp tent. We also had another family that we had never met, but were friends with our investigators that showed up, and turns out they are actually just super inactive members. We shared a short message with everyone and then proceeded to burn stuff. Nobody had ever roasted marshmallows before, so they were a little hesitant at first, but after it caught on they were all putting 5 or 6 on a stick, and burning them to a crisp, just like all the little kids do back home, except all the adults did it too! All in all- rather awesome. I have changes, so will be moving on, but I will definitely be doing that one again in my next area.

Campfire! We had 21 people there in total, 2 recent converts, 2 missionaries, 5 inactive members, and 12 investigators... What!?!
Double Wedding!!!! All in all we spent a grand total of 25 bucks, including the lawyer and papers for both families. Guatemala is awesome.

Our district

Traditional Guatemalan photo
Going Green!
And my beautiful feet...dear mom- send more socks!
See ya'll later! Elder Rice

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

9 months left baby!

So if any of you are planning on having children before I get back, the deadline to start the process is this week! I have 9 months left in Guatemala. Time is going by insanely fast! I hardly feel the days anymore.
This last week we brought 8 people to church on Sunday- Super awesome! 7 of them should be getting baptized this weekend. Last Saturday we had a small matrimonial service in which we married 2 couples for only like 25 bucks, including cake, balloons, lawyer, etc. We're pretty pilas. This week we are going to have a big bonfire party with a bunch of our converts and a bunch of future converts, and all of their friends. Organizing for a large group of people is rather difficult when food is involved we have discovered, but I think we've got it down.

Last Sunday we had a whole bunch of investigators over to a convert’s house to watch the video “The Restoration.” Turned out awesome! We are having so much success it is ridiculous!

 No close calls this week, just the usual gun shots every once in a while. Last week was our trip to Wendy’s. The Baconator was delicious by the way! I thought I didn't miss American food, but I actually do! J

This is the Elder Rice spin on Potent Prayer taught by President Markham:
God listens to, and answers our prayers. When something is important to us, it is important to Him. As we learn to really communicate with God instead of just list off what we are grateful for and what we need, we start to have answers more strongly and more quickly. The first thing we should always do is prepare ourselves to pray. Consider what we have, what we need, and what we are willing to do to show our faith. Next, pray. Directing the prayer to our Heavenly Father, thanking him, asking for what we need, and ending in the name of Jesus Christ. After, listen. Sit still and listen. Following, make promises to God respecting the topic of the prayer. For example: I promise that I will follow the answer that I receive from Thee, or I promise to do everything that is within my power first, and then leave the rest to Thee. The last step becomes part of the first, as we report to God on our efforts, give him thanks for the answers, and ask for the things we need for the next step of our lives.

Thanks for ordering the book I wanted and sending it to me. If there is more space... I don’t know what else to ask for! Surprise me I guess. A white board that can fit inside of a normal sized backpack maybe? That is actually something that I have been looking for for a while now. Just something simple like they have in the  school where it’s just a small white board with no border. If you can fit it in, of course. We have changes on the 20th, so its next week, so I doubt it will get here before then. If it’s not here for transfers the secretaries are in my zone, and their house is like 30 minutes away. Also, I’ve got a hookup in the office, so they’ll get it to me. Thanks!

Love you. Nos vemos! Elder Rice



Monday, August 4, 2014

Brush dat´ dirt off yo shoulder

After an interesting personal study one day I commented to my companion about how Jesus commanded the apostles to shake the dust off their feet as a testimony against the people that rejected them and they would be toast in the last day. (See Scripture References here) Not wanting to use such a strong action against anyone, I have implemented a new ordinance. I call it “Brush dat´ dirt off yo shoulder.” When one is rejected by another out rightly, they must ´´Brush dat´ dirt off yo shoulder´´ as a testimony that they can´t touch your ‘flow’. Then one must move on to bigger and better things, and the aforementioned rejecter is unlikely to receive another invitation.

The following is a brief summary of the week’s highlights. For lunch the other day I ate cow stomach, which really isn´t that bad until you know what it is, at which point it loses its savor. We also came home one night at the usual hour (9pm) to find that a large gathering of people from a church that will remain unnamed had decided to hold a large concert/religious meeting right in front of our house. Not only did we have to make our way through a large crowd of people in the middle of a religious meeting, but now the whole world knows exactly where the Gringos live. Pretty cool just interrupting their meeting though… in front of hundreds of people. Also, the corner store half a block from our house got shot up the other day while we were a couple of blocks up. Annndddd I think that about wraps it all up for this week. Oh and we taught the Law of Chastity to a whole bus full of people.

You asked for recommendations for other missionaries coming here compared to the packing list the church sent: Well, I don’t use sunscreen, you can buy Qtips here easily, I don’t use jeans for anything, but sports shorts are nice. I would have brought sweatpants maybe for sleeping in colder areas, and I would have brought one more bar of soap for the CCM as I ran out before we went to the store. Also, if you have short hair you don´t need shampoo, as you can just use soap. Don´t buy ANYTHING of souvenirs in the CCM, and think really well about what protectors you get for your scriptures. Buy the nice set of scriptures in Spanish and take good care of them, making sure to have plastic bags on hand to keep them dry, and use them your whole mission,

Thanks for the update from home, and the info about bringing a machete home. Time is going by way too fast, I feel like I don´t have any time left and way too much to do before I leave! Hey, if you could get your hands on a little book called ´´Missionary Pal´´ and get that too me I would really appreciate it! I saw a copy in another missionaries house the other day and was able to thumb through it, and would really like for you to send one to me J Either separate, or if you had planned on sending something for Christmas that would be fine too. Thanks- love you!

Cuidense, Elder Rice