Tuesday, September 30, 2014


I have been in here in the coast for 6 weeks now. Changes are tomorrow and SUPRISE! Me voy! I`ve got changes again! I`m now going to have 4 areas in 4 changes. It is all good. I have learned a lot. I met a Swiss chef, saw an epidemic spread, learned how to work with the bishop, and witnessed some miracles.

First things first right? So a couple of weeks ago some of the people here in Escuintla started getting a really weird disease. It is like dengue, but a whole lot more violent. It gives chills, fever, vomit, intense pain in the bones (especially the hands and knees) and terrible headaches. Then all of a sudden it exploded here. Everywhere we went people were sick with it. And it started leaving terrible rashes on the whole body that exploded and got all nasty. Pretty intense. It is transmitted by mosquitos, which are plenteous here. Supposedly it came from Africa or something like that and it is called chikunguña. The good thing is that only one missionary got it, and it didn`t hit him very hard, he didn`t even stay in one day.
My companion and I are getting along fine! Normally I am eating homemade pizza, cinnamon rolls, or spaghetti. Usually in the night I make popcorn on the stove too! I have been eating an apple a day to keep the doctor away too. Cucumbers with lime and salt I also like a lot. And obviously the breakfast of champions OATMEAL. I`m going to be a super star in college. I can eat great on a super tight budget. Everyone will want to be my roommate. As far as college goes I`ll try to let you know my tentative plans next week! Let me think about it.
This last week it rained more than normal. We were walking in a street up to our knees in nasty water. In part it was sweet, as all the cars turned the place into Seaworld on steroids. The bad thing was that some small bug bites that I had on my legs and my arm got infected because of the nasty water. They are pretty nasty, and pretty painful.

We have been teaching 2 young people here in our area. We had come for a visit with some people we had met, and the old guy we brought with us knocked on the wrong door (after we had knocked on the right one). What can you do right? So these 2 teens come out and tell us to come on in. After talking a bit with them they told us they would like to have more unity in their family, which was lacking because their parents are almost never home. The weird thing is that usually when kids here (or anywhere) are left alone way too much they tend to develop bad attributes, but these 2 boys are socially very normal, and have much more integrity than a lot of people here in Guatemala. Anyways, we brought them to church this last Sunday and they loved it. Today in the afternoon we are going to have a family home evening with the whole family to try and help them be more united. Sunday afternoon we ran into the parents and they wanted to talk with us too. They said their kids have been standing up to them in the house and they want help making them more obedient. Then they told us what had happened. The dad had belted the older brother with.. well.. his belt. Then he went to his room and the dad got up to follow him and the younger brother came out, stood in front of his dad, and told him ``You’re not going to hit my brother anymore!`` At least the parents recognize that the kids don`t include them inside their most inner circle. Anyways, the point is we are totally going to save an awesome family from destroying itself. Well, my companion anyways, as I have changes tomorrow.
Love you lots, Va pues! Elder Rice


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I am muy guapo!

The other day my companion and I were walking down one of the streets in our area, and some kids about 10 years old flagged us down from the sidewalk. When we got closer we saw that they had a bottle of coke in their hands. Coke has been doing a cool promotion lately (Here at least I don’t know about stateside) where they have been printing common names on the Coke bottles and the people buy lots of Coke until they get one with their name on it. When we got closer to the kids we saw why they had flagged us down... The Coke bottle had the name ELDER on it. J

Last week we went to a different internet cafe to write home. After we had finished we went up to the desk to pay. The lady at the desk asked me if she could be honest with me, after which she said I am muy guapo. My companion and I got a pretty good laugh out of that.

The Swiss chef mentioned last week taught us on Saturday to make bread, cinnamon rolls, crousants (who knows how you spell that...), and pizza like they do in the fancy expensive restaurants. Then we taught his family about the Word of Wisdom. Then we took all that newly acquired knowledge and made some sweet bread in our little toaster oven.

I just started reading the Book of Mormon for the fifth time since I left. I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to get CLOSER TO GOD, find DIRECTION in their life, find PEACE, and/or HOPE. If you don´t have one lemme know and I´ll make sure somebody gets one to you. Or click HERE.

The food storage bags/freezer meals you made look pretty sweet. I wish we had something like that, to eat a sweet meal at night. I eat pretty well anyways though. The other day my companion was complaining that he couldn´t walk fast and he was tired because he didn´t eat a good dinner or breakfast. I just asked him who is in charge of him eating well and he stopped complaining. Sometimes we learn to self-justify ourselves. We put the guilt on other things: I can’t go to church because I had to work all night last night, I can’t do my visits because I´ve got work coming out of my nose, I would have family home evening if everyone else weren’t such haters, etc., etc. What we need to learn is the doctrine taught in 2 Nephi10:23. We are free to choose good, or bad, and it isn´t anybody’s fault but our own for our circumstances. God actually wants us to cheer up because we are capable of acting upon our circumstances, and not just being acted upon.

The withdrawal from my account was just because I wanted a little bit of extra cash for whatever thing. I don´t actually need that much, I just hate paying ATM fees, so I took it all out at once. All is well. It’s pretty sweet how I can live pretty comfortably, in a rented house for about 260 dollars a month, eating out, buying nice food, and taking buses all day, without even breaking into my personal money most of the time.

Love ya mom!

Hasta la vista bebé, Elder Rice


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Swiss chef shenanagins

All is well here! It’s hot, but not too bad, I’m getting used to it really fast again. It hasn’t been raining too much lately, which is nice sometimes, but at the same time it sucks getting home all sweaty. We had our house inspections on Tuesday, which is why we didn’t write yesterday. You will be proud to know that we passed with flying colors!

We met this less active member of the church last week. Turns out that he is a chef in a Swiss restaurant in the super rich part of Guatemala! This Sunday he is going to make us some really awesome food. He grew up homeless with nothing, stealing fruits from the market with his brother (Aladdin, right?) to feed himself. Later on he got a job when he was 14 in a high-class place. The head chef there took him under his wing and taught him everything that he knew. Since then he has been working in several places making really high-class food. One of those cool pick yourself up by your bootstraps stories!

Not really too much to mention this week, been a pretty normal week. I need to start making notes for what to write home... Everything just blurs together.

We taught a short workshop on self-defense to some kids from a family that we are teaching. One of them gets beat up at school, so our thought was to help him be able to defend himself a little better. He didn’t really make any progress, but at least he got super stoked. His mom told us the next day that he had gotten really pumped the rest of the day, so even if he didn’t learn at least we have a good relationship with them!

HEY I got my package like a week ago! The shoe dryers are awesome! But seriously- super, super awesome!!! The Swedish fish were delicious, and the white board is perfect! Thank you MOM! Now that Jared is away from home it is going to be way different at home. I’m really excited to go to college when I get back! Like, way too excited...

Adios, Elder Rice




Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Wedding crashers

My companion and I went to a wedding this week of some people from the ward that were getting married. We showed up after the ceremony, just for the cake. It was some pretty awesome cake. Highlight of the week.

Another Baptism! Mission president showed up as a suprise
The weather is good! Super hot until about 3 or 4 in the afternoon when it starts raining and cools off a little bit! I am going to die in Oregon, my body is used to the heat now! It has been raining... A LOT lately. The good thing is that even the rain falls hot because it is so hot here, so it´s not really that bad. I made a waterproof bag out of duct tape for my scriptures, so they don´t get wet at all. All of the people let us in their houses when we are soaking wet because they feel bad, then we teach them and they either become new investigators of the church, or they kick us back out into the rain. It´s actually pretty awesome! The only bad thing is that walking around in wet shoes all day leaves the feet truly nasty, and gives lots of blisters.

I haven´t got my package you sent yet but I´m sure that I´ll get it pretty soon. Probably next week.

Jared sounds excited to get to college. He says that he won´t have a curfew anymore, which makes him happy. J I feel like there are going to be a lot of differences when I get back! New people at church, getting ready to live on my own and search me out a womanJ,  new friends, etc.... But I still have 8 months before I need to worry about all that. My plan is to use my mad cooking skills to make way too much food for myself in college, and sell it to chumps that are hungry, thus covering the cost of food for myself! We´ll see how that works out.

Well, that’s all folks.
 Elder Rice


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Gringo Pizza Party!

So, the pizza party turned out to be a huge hit! We had all the people coming bring something to make the pizza to help spread the cost out, and obligate some people to come on time. It was pretty weird making the pizza dough in front of like 20 people- and even though preaching on old school buses full of 50 to 60 people has become a daily pastime- this made me a little bit nervous. It turned out quite delicious though. I got some sweet pictures, but I forgot to bring my camera today... We made what we called the Especial Mormona. It had pizza sauce, fresh onions, some fresh peppers, cheese, and some form of Guatemalan mystery meat... And pineapple (how in the world do you spell pineapple???) We had one of the ladies here host it and she went over the top in preparing her house. She had a big long table with a white tablecloth, with red decorations on the table, nice glass cups, a punch bowl with some of the most awesome punch I have ever had, and some sandwiches as a little snack for everyone. She also had a table set up in front of an empty room where I could teach everybody to make the dough. She lives 6 months in Canada and 6 months here in Escuintla, Guatemala, so she has a little more financial possibility. All in all, quite awesome!

My new companion here is from Mexico. His name is Elder Mariscal. He is the Mexican version of my friend, Kevin Choi. J Our house here isn`t too bad. The walls are all pretty dirty, and the bathroom is meh, but it isn`t really that bad. Here in Escuintla there isn`t really much to see, just houses, small businesses, stray dogs, and a merciless sun. It rains pretty insanely here as well. Almost everyday it rains down cats and dogs, but it is way better to be soaking wet from the rain, than soaking wet from your own sweat! Besides, when people see us drenched head to toe they are a lot more likely to let us in their house to teach them.

You asked about my plans when I get home. Well, my sorta plan is to get back and work, but also to do all of the sweet things that I have always wanted to do. Go hunting, take the bros (Chris, Dakota and Kevin) camping for a week, buy a motorcycle, do the flaming wings challenge in Buffalo Wild Wings, etc. But pretty much yeah, you could say live at home and work for a few months. But yes, I do think that I want to go to BYU-I. I bet Jared is pretty stoked for college, eh? I know I am! Going to tear that place up! And get a good education while I am at it #yolo  Is yolo even a thing anymore? I hear songs sometimes in the buses or in people’s cars and realize that I have been away quite a while now, as all the songs are ones I have never heard before.  

We have a person doing our laundry, but she got sick and her daughter is washing it now, which means that we have to wash our own personal items by hand... Which is a huge drag....at least they get dry in like 30 minutes as we live in what is the neighboring county to hell L It gets seriously hot here.... We do still have a lunch lady though. Lately my Mexican companion has been training me for the BWW (Buffalo Wild Wings) flaming wings challenge while we are at lunch.

Love you, Elder Rice