Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Solola... the Black Zone

They say that what leaves Solola comes back to Solola. After being out of the mountains for many months, I am now back. Around April (last year) I was in San Andres, an area of this zone. Now I am in serving in the position of Zone Leader for my favorite zone that I had! It´s awesome! Back to the people in their culturally native clothes. The people that don´t speak Spanish. (Most speak a Mayan language called K'iche' or Quiché) Back to  riding in the back of pickup trucks everywhere... I LOVE IT!!! The only hard thing is going from one of the hottest zones in the mission, to one of the coldest... At least it won’t be such a huge jump when I get home, since I will already be used to the cold.

So time for the stats. I am in the city of Solola. My companion is Elder Clouse from Arizona. He has been out here 6 weeks less than I have. The weather is nice and cold!!! It has rained a couple of times, but not too bad. Our house is AWESOME! We have 2 nice showers, lots of rooms, a big huge white board, and a second floor that has a small kitchen, and a room we have converted into a home gym. Because of the huge distances between areas here, and the huge distance from the capital, sometimes we have all the missionaries over for a giant sleep over to be able to travel more easily in the morning (as we are the closest to the main bus terminal here). We have a cook that is rock solid. It is like eating out in a nice place every day! We also have a lady that does our laundry who cranks out the clothes by hand for the next day. It is awesome. They closed the other 2 areas in this city because of a drop in the number of missionaries in the mission, so we are in charge of 3 branches of the church... It makes for a LOOOONNNGGGG Sunday at church. They are all super great though. Almost everyone is excited about the work here, and people are always telling us about friends they want us to go visit. All in all... I LOVE IT HERE! It is pretty much a sure thing that I will be here until the end of April when I come home.

Elder Clouse and I. Working hard moving cinder blocks, then we cut weeds- with a machete, of course!

 2 days ago the district president gave us some food. The next day (which luckily was P-day) my companion woke up with just the worst stomachache ever. He spent like an hour on the porcelain throne in the morning, and then went back every 10 minutes the rest of the day. Then he got worse and started throwing up. He had to practice a maneuver called the "helicopter". If you are clever enough, you will be able to figure out why we call it that.

That was cool to hear about the missionary in your ward blessing the baby that had his name as a middle name. There is a baby here in Guatemala that has my name too! It is way cool how close we get to people down here. There is a family that we taught here on my second day of being here. The mom is less active, and the dad is not a member. They have 1 little girl. About 1 ½  months ago, somebody really close to them killed themselves. It has been a major obstacle for them as the dad just talks about how guilty he feels for not doing more for this person and it has been eating him up. My companion actually contacted him about 2 weeks before I got here. Later he found out that this guy was on his way to kill himself that night when my companion talked to him. Every time that they visited him it was just a big mess and the guy couldn´t move on. Then I got changed here, and I was able to connect with him really, really well. We have been working hard with him to help him get better as he is still pretty emotionally unstable, but he is making good progress! He has already decided to be baptized. THIS is why we baptize people here. They have huge weights in their lives that can only be taken off through the Atonement, and the only way to have access to that is through being baptized. It has been a really neat experience. My companion pointed out to me that I might be the only one in the whole mission that could have gotten to this guy, and that God knows exactly what he is doing with his work. We are all where we need to be.

Anyways, all is well. Love you lots!

Xóc Chick!

 Elder Rice

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