Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A little 'Chapin' named Collin

So it turns out that the fever and rash from last week were from a mosquito trasmitted disease called... DENGUE!!!!! I wouldn’t wish it on anybody... seriously... But all is well again. I had to go to the hospital and all to get tests taken, but by the time the results came in that it was dengue I was already back to 90%. I feel better already. Dengue is a huge drag though... seriously. I still worked my companion into the dirt even being sick though. Not even dengue can stop this guy!

We went to the new Walmart here to check out what’s up, and I saw the coolest thing in the shelf medicine section. Little boxes of a pain reliever here called OXY. Yep, it is what you think it is. Just in case you need some serious pain relief, Walmart carries OXY. I bought flour, yeast, and powdered sugar to make scones in a family home evening, but no OXY. J
Making scones in a family home evening

Yesterday we got a phone call in the morning informing me that... guess what... CHANGES.... AGAIN. Seriously, for the last 5 times there have been changes, I have been the one to go. The good thing is that I am now super pro at packing suitcases, and saying goodbye. They also informed me that..... I’m going to have a son! (Don’t freak out, this is just a mission expression!) Just so there is no confusion, we call a missionary your “son” when you are their companion during their first 6 to 12 weeks as a missionary. Which means.... I get a newbie! I have been so super busy in the last 2 days that I haven’t had time to even go to the bathroom.... Seriously. Anyways, next week I’ll be in a new area, with a new companion.

As for sending Christmas stuff for my companion, my companion right now has actually gotten like 4 packages, and he has only been out like 3 months. I have had other Latino companions that don’t get anything ever. Or I could have a white boy, so he’d probably get something from home. But yeah, it would be good to throw something in there for my companion.

I’m glad all is well back home!
Love you lots, Elder Collin Taylor Rice

Hey, P.S. One of my converts is going to have a baby boy and he wanted my name so he could name his kid after me. So there is going to be a little Chapin boy (Slang term that Guatemalans call themselves) with my name here in Guatemala. LOL
Hey also! Our ward mission leader sells essential oils. LOL thought you might appreciate that, since you’re big on that voodoo magic stuff.

Dear Andrea: Quit telling everyone I'm getting fat!
These are my socks and my cardboard soled shoes
(Don’t send me more socks, I have good ones still)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Being sick is for wimps- I'm an Unstoppable Machine

Wednesday or Thursday of last week I got hit by a pretty serious fever. Then on Friday something crazy happened; the thermometers that the mission home gives us to take our temperature only go up to 104 F, and are the kind that are on  a film and they make a square turn green under the number of the temp you have. On Friday when I took my temp the little squares went lighting up from the low numbers to the high numbers, but then it didn´t stop when it got to 104 F, it just kept going right off the thermometer. But what can you do, eh? I just left to work like normal, worked my companion straight into the dirt, and finished the day out normally.

Then on Saturday we had the pizza party I mentioned last week.. Like they say, if you can´t take the heat, get out of the kitchen! The activity was a success by the way. I didn´t get pictures because I forgot my camera, but a member took some that I´ll get a hold of. We ended up making 5 pizzas that were 1 meter each in a firewood oven. Anyways, I guess I showed that fever what’s up! Then on Sunday I got a gnarly rash, so the nurse told me I had to go take a test to see if I had previously mentioned chikunguña fever or dengue or what (cue the panicked mother).

My district
 The family I mentioned last week couldn´t come to church this Sunday, but one of the people that came to the pizza activity did come and now has a baptismal date. Moreover, with the help of our ward mission leader we were able to kick start cooking classes every other week to which people can bring friends, family, enemies, or whoever they want. The ward mission leader is a professional chef, and is going to be teaching new stuff people can make with things they already have in their houses. We are struggling a little finding more people to teach right now, but we hope doing stuff like this can help people “get to know the Mormons”

As far as when I am going to come home... Probably never, I think I´m just gonna stay here as a missionary. J  If you could help me get started on the college applications that would be great.  Thanks for being worried about my future! Let me know what you think.

Be good! Elder Rice

Monday, October 13, 2014

Go Big or Go Home- a 'Za party

They say that “One should be better today than they were yesterday”- so that is my goal for my next activity. This coming Friday we will be attempting the ´´Pizza Party´´ on a scale never before known in the City Central Mission. We have been planning with the ward mission leader an activity to end all activities. We will be renting the oven of a nearby bakery along with some metal trays in order to make a pizza of.... 2 meters! We have been inviting a lot of people to come and everyone we talk to is super stoked. It is kind of strange how people will drop everything to come learn the relatively simple process of making pizza, but when it comes to learning about the Gospel, Jesus Christ, or the Family all of a sudden there are a lot more things that are a lot more important. (And with that we show up right at the door at whatever time they ask us to!) When it comes to going to church to be able to know if it is really true that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God- forget about it! There are plenty of people here willing to do it, but there are so many who I wish would just prioritize a little bit more! Anyways, the pizza is going to be bomb.

We are teaching a great family here that we met last week. The father is a carpenter. He is going to make a samurai style handle out of fine hardwood for my machete. I know you are all jealous. They couldn´t come to church this week because he had to work yesterday, but they accepted a date to be baptized and they are reading the Book of Mormom! It was pretty great when they accepted the date to be baptized as the whole rest of the week was pretty rough. We started out pretty much with nobody, which means knocking on doors and bugging people in the street. We found some new people to teach, but we still need a lot more. I wish people would just listen to us and then ask God if what we taught them is true. It would be so easy!

As for college.... I still don´t know... I would like to go to BYU-Idaho, but I have also been thinking about BYU-Provo... Who knows... As soon as I know I´ll let you know! For Christmas... I know it’s kinda boring... but I don´t really know what to ask for... I mean, I am getting close to the end of my mission... by Christmas I´ll only have 5 months left! I hate to be super boring and all... Maybe just have a ton of people send me letters? Or send money J Just kidding! Maybe get stuff for a home coming party? I know you are more creative than I am, so I´m sure you´ll figure out something that will blow my mind J It’s kind of hard for me to ask for stuff also because last year left me traumatized! (His package was lost in the mail and never made it L) Those throwback pictures you sent of all of us on vacation are super baggy! (or trunky as they say there- makes me excited to be home!)

Love you much! Thanks for the updates! I read them and treasure them, even if I don´t always comment on them due to the time constraints. Today I had to write everybody AND reformat the retention lists for the whole zone in Excel (good thing I am a pro at Excel J)

Anyways that’s all I got for this week,

Be good! Elder Rice




Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Deja vu

 I had changes again this last Wednesday. I got sent to an area called El Carmen 2. The weird thing is that this area is part of the same ward that I left before I went to the coast! I work with all the same people, see all my converts, and my old companion is now my district leader. (He'll have been there 6 months at the end of this change). All in all it’s pretty sweet, as this was one of my favorite wards so far. The house we are in now is pretty sweet. It is super tiny, just 2 rooms and a bathroom, but the tile floor isn't horrid, we have sort of warm water to shower with, and we have a lovely view of a great and spacious church out front. We are in the big city, and you will all be pleased to know that both Dominos and Pizza Hut consider my area safe enough to deliver pizza to. My companions name is Elder Montes. He is from El Salvador, has been out for about 3 months, and is skinny as heck. Pictures will be included. We get along rather well. It is kinda hard being with ''the new guy'' because he doesn't know how everything works yet, but he is super receptive to improvement. I was also made into a Senior companion, and they put me in charge of retention in the zone too. SUPRISE! J

New companion
Yesterday I got some pretty nasty vomits and some intense trips to the bathroom. Then afterwards some unbearable stomach pains that left me pretty much useless to the world. Pretty great. It’s always fun to throw up in the street and have all the kids come up and talk about the Gringo throwing up... Great opportunities to get find more investigators. All is well now, seems like one of those 48 hours things.

The epidemic I mentioned last week is mostly in the hotter parts of Central America, so I'm home free from that now, so you can relax Mom.  I have been treating all my infectious wounds with the Neosporin you sent with me.

Thats all for now folks, pictures to be sent.

Elder Rice

Breakfast of champions

Cinnamon rolls made on a study desk and cooked in a toaster oven..
Came out quite delicious actually!

Brother with really, really big hands in my last area

old companion with my machete

Suit that I scored in a thrift shop for about 50 cents