Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Long Bus Ride

We got a phone call on Saturday from the mission secretaries (uh oh!) that we needed to go to the central offices of the church in Guatemala to turn in some papers for my companion. Unfortunately, the day they chose to do it was none other than the sacred P-Day (Our prep day). As the office is about 4 ½ hours away from where I am right now, and we had to be there at 9am we had to get up a little before 4am to make it in time. So we get up and ready and off we go. We get into an old school bus turned public transportation. This route is traveled by A LOT of people, as there is a lot more work in the capital. When we got on the bus they were rocking the ‘3 to a seat’ rule with the whole aisle full of standing passengers. ‘Twas awesome! Any ways, long story short, we got back home 15 minutes before we had our first visit for the day at 5pm-after sitting on buses pretty much all day, coupled with sitting in offices waiting forever. Got lost in a really big city. And took one stinking picture for the immigration stuff. We did eat some pretty good bean and egg sandwiches though!

We have got 3 baptisms scheduled for this Saturday. We are giving the local bakery about 12 dollars to make us 2 huge cakes. I love how cheap stuff is here! We have been bringing a lot of new people to church recently. So many people here are willing to listen to us that we don`t have time to teach them all! So what my companion and I do is ask people right away ``Will you come to church with us this Sunday?`` And if they say no? Adios! This place is awesome! I just wish it wasn`t so hot!

My companion, Elder Lemur, got super stoked today though, because a lot of people wrote him! I am not sure if he will be my companion for Christmas, changes are on the 10th of December.

Sounds like Thanksgiving is going to be a big party! Maybe I`ll make myself some extra beans and eggs or something. Hey, did you know you can make baked potatoes in the microwave?! The new cheapest, easiest, nutritional (sort of) way to eat! It’s like natures instant dinner! Just pop it in while we doing daily planning, and when we finish... BOOM a nice, hot potato.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

Temperature is rising, very few rain storms, and a lot more sun... You know what that means! CHRISTMAS! Well, this week went pretty good. Just working hard. People have started yelling ``uno dos uno dos`` when we go running by! (Which is the marching chant for the soldiers.) Then we come to an abrupt halt and talk to them while pouring out sweat and they let us teach them about the gospel. Pretty sweet.

Last Saturday we showed up for lunch with a member, and she said she wasn`t ready yet, and that she needed about 20 more minutes. So we went to look for a reference that we had been given. We showed up and realized that she had already gone to church like 3 times, so we just asked her right away if she would be baptized tomorrow. She said yes, so we got all stoked that we were going to have a baptism out of nowhere. Turns out she had a small problem with the Word of Wisdom, so she has to wait until the 29th, but still pretty cool experience!

I am the district leader here, so it isn`t likely that I have changes any time soon, so I should be here for a while- if not the rest of my mission. The last district leader was here for 6 months. Our  house is super sweet. But still... It will be nice to be home.
You asked what we eat for lunch/dinner. I don`t really have time to eat dinner anymore, with all of the stuff I have to do at night, and in the morning we have to get up at 5AM every day because I am training; so I pretty much just eat lunch, and a few snacks during the day. They sell fresh bread on every block here, so I eat a lot of that. For lunch we usually eat rice with some other simple thing, and chile peppers. I’m training up that tongue to go to BWW (Buffalo Wild Wings) when I get back. Don’t worry about my lack of a pillow. I’m so tired all the time that I don`t even need a pillow, but maybe I`ll get one with all the money I save on groceries. Last week I just bought 3 dollars of instant soup (like ramen, but even cheaper).  With 3 dollars I bought like 20 packages of soup!

I have a favor for anyone who is willing: Write my companion please! He is from Honduras and has no email!  It's very sad. L Something short, in Spanglish if you can, if not, in English. (or maybe try Google Translate- inaccurate as it is…)  I’d really appreciate it. (Our email day is Tuesday, every week)
Thanks for the updates! LOVE YOU BYE!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Teach 'til you drop

Another week on fire here in Tiquisate. Summer is just starting up, so it should be getting even hotter. It LOOKS like I might be here until I`m done, possibly. And summer just started, apparently it gets hotter. Maybe I`ll take a detour in Arizona on the way home or something... adjusting to the Oregon weather is gonna suck.

We are burning up our area here! This week we taught about 70 lessons, and 45 new people agreed to continue meeting with us. Our area is huge here. The farthest we ever go is 2km from the main town. The problem is there is no transportation. So how did we have 70 lessons you ask? It’s simple! My companion is a new missionary and doesn`t know better, so I convinced him we should run between all of the visits!!!! At first he wasn`t too up for it because of the crazy heat, but I got him stoked out of his mind and now we just run around all the time super, super, drenched in sweat. It`s seriously great, and honestly is part of the reason we have been having success. Lest you all think I am crazy I do have several reasons why we have been doing it. The biggest is that all of the people see us running around all day and when we stop them in the street they always want to know why we are running around all the time. So we excitedly tell them what beliefs we have that would make us excited enough to run around in Tiquisate. The next step is for all of my district to catch the wave!

When we got to church this week there were.... 15 people there. Later on a few more showed up, but we barely broke 40. Not everybody is so excited yet, but we`re getting there! Several street dogs came inside the chapel during the service too, which didn`t seem to bother too many people. Gotta love it.

Our house here is the bomb! Some members of the church just built it on their property to rent out, so it is almost brand new: new paint, new walls, not a tin roof, all in all- pretty awesome. It is really big too for a missionary house. My companion is from Honduras, and I received him when he completed his 1 month training period. We have somebody doing our laundry again, which is super nice! The members here might be few, but they all invite us to lunch, so we eat lunch every day for free.

We just put up our mosquito nets yesterday, so now I don`t even have to use sheets to keep the insects off me! It’s pretty awesome. My bed just has the one sheet that goes on the mattress and nothing else. The last missionary took the pillow with him... punk... and I don`t use the other sheet or a blanket for obvious reasons. I could fall asleep even with mosquitos though, I am so ridiculously tired! Between training, working in an area that has been struggling much in the past, being in charge of a district that has a hard time getting excited to do more than we have before, and just being a missionary for a long time, my mind and body are running on overtime. But it’s great! About 6 more months and I`ll be back in paradise where you only have to work 8 hours and you don`t have to work on Sundays or get up at 5am every day.  Until I get to college anyways I suppose.

Enjoy the winter paradise on that side of the world!

Love you much!
Elder Rice

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Melting in Guatemala

My new area is in the hottest part of the mission, and I believe that it is in the hottest part of the world. I am in Tiquisate, in a little town called RIO BRAVO. It is HOT here..... It makes the rest of the places I have been seem like vacationing spots. We did our weekly planning last Thursday, and at about 1:30pm I went to go wash my face off to try and get rid of some of the heat. The water that came out of the sink was so hot I almost couldn`t take it. I figured that it was probably just the water in the pipes and let it run a bit. Nothing. The whole several hundred gallon tank of water on the roof was the temperature of a really hot shower.... Yeah... It’s hot here.... Look it up and let me know how hot it is. I will probably die of the cold, depressing weather back home after living in a country that pretty much only has summer and rainy summer seasons.

The area we are in is REALLY big, and the local branch of the church is really small. When church started there were only 20 people in the building, counting little kids and babies... All of the roads are really long, and really flat. And did I mention it’s really hot? The only escape from the heat is a cold shower, and only in the morning, as in the afternoon the water is all hot. The good thing is-this place is awesome!

My kid (the new missionary I’m training) and I are going crazy here teaching people. Instead of just walking really fast, sometimes we jog between visits to save time. And we always wake up pretty early to get out earlier. Elder Lemus, my new companion, is great. He is socially apt, which helps a lot when we are talking with random people in the street or on the bus, willing to work hard, and he worked as a school teacher before he came on the mission, so he is-well, a good teacher of the gospel! All in all- all is well.

They also made me a district leader, which means I am in charge of the district, which is made up of 6 missionaries. Wow! It is A LOT of work.

 Your trip to the beach sounded fun- especially the food !  I totally miss buffets-and good old American food. One can only eat so much beans and rice and corn tortillas.

 Anyways, running out of time fast, more details next time.


(In Tiquisate one must yell loud, and stretch out the words in order to inspire others J)