Thursday, March 19, 2015

Herding Missionaries

The last 2 days have been the craziest of my mission! Tuesday morning we started out early (5:30am) in a rented tour van for the all change taking place in our mission. Obviously, my companion and I got up early to get weight lifting in one more time together. So we got to changes and everything went normal. I got a new companion (Elder Morris) from Park Valley, Utah. Then when we finished... the games began:

The goal: Get 9 sister missionaries, and 4 elders (along with ourselves as well) and their luggage from the church building to the mission house in the next city over. We were able to convince the assistants to let us throw all the bags in with the people that are leaving the mission. Mistake number one: Sisters don´t like to wear the same clothes 2 days in a row. So we get all the bags sent off and now we have to figure out how to get all of these missionaries to a place where they could spend the night and get ready for the conference with Elder Neil L. Anderson the next day. We walked with them over to the nearest Little Caesers and bought ALL the pizzas. Then we hopped on one intercity bus, got off, got on another one. Then from there we had to walk to the bus stop where the old school buses (turned public transport) pass, and cram all 15 of us onto a bus that was already full. From there we got on another one of these buses before finally arriving at the secretaries´ house and dropping off the elders. Then we got on another bus with the sisters to take them to THE NEXT town over and drop them off. So we then realized that the sisters needed their bags! The bus with all the luggage showed up at the mission house at about 10pm. Sadly, it was all mixed up with the luggage of those that are leaving, and nobody knew whose bags were whose. We did the best we could though.

The next morning we got up at the crack of 2am to load the bags into a different private van we rented specifically for the purpose of moving all the bags and went to go drop them off with the sisters. Only... we were missing 2... So we hauled it back to get them and had everything in place by about 5am. Then instead of wasting time going back to the mission house and coming back to bring the sisters, we just decided to chill out on the sidewalk. Anyways, a lot of other stuff went down, but all in all it was a planning nightmare that we somehow figured out and got everybody’s´ stuff back up here to Solola. Except for 2 little bags that I might have forgotten to grab that the assistants had to drive up to drop off today in the early morning. But at least it is over now!

The conference was awesome!!! Sadly, I missed all of the speakers except for Elder Anderson since I wasn´t able to sleep the night before. He is a great speaker though! His Spanish is so-so, but he is such a powerful guy that it didn´t even matter. He mostly talked about the things we should do differently here than in the States as far as how we teach people. He taught us that we need to teach the doctrine how it is, and if people don´t accept it then it is their choice, and not something we need to try to adjust to their liking.
I should be home on the 30th of April. I would like to drive the car home from the airport, but it is possible I will be too tired... We shall see right? I think one week will be long enough for me to stop introducing myself as Elder Rice, so maybe that next week after I get back I could start working if it can all get arranged.  I do plan on going with you guys in July to Bear Lake and Utah, and I’d like to spend some time there with some of my companions. I´ll probably got to Rexburg also to check it out and see Jared, so I will need to figure that out with my work schedule.

 Anyways, all is well here, we have got about 40 something more days left!

Love you lots! Elder Rice

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Sleepless Nights

Last week on Thursday we had a council for the leaders of the mission in the Capital. This means a 3 or more hour bus ride in order to be there at 8am. My companion and I decided that we wanted to show up ridiculously early (5am) in order to get some insider information on the changes. (They say that the early bird gets the worm, right?) So we went to bed at the normal hour (10:30pm) and woke up at 12:30am in order to be up waiting for the first bus out of town at 2am. So we showed up about 15 minutes early and sat down on the sidewalk. It was COLD. And WINDY! As we are waiting, we realized that no bus was going to come at 2am and that we would have to wait until 4am when the next one left. So my companion and I curled up on the sidewalk and slept for a couple of hours like some hobos. We got dang cold! All I can say is I am grateful not to be homeless, because that really sucks... We ended up showing up almost right at 8am, which made 7 ½ hours of being awake before we even started our day... That was a long flippin’ day....

We are really excited here for changes next week. Due to the fact that we will be visited by Elder Anderson of the Quorum of the Twelve on Wednesday, we will have changes on Tuesday. This means that I won`t be writing again until next Thursday, just telling you so nobody gets worried, and my mom doesn’t assume I’ve been kidnapped. Just lots of meetings and other responsibilities this week. Lots of traveling. Not a whole lot of really crazy stuff going on.

Thanks for the advise on dealing with the Sister missionaries, but when I said I’d made them cry it wasn’t because I was mean. The girls were all crying because they were spiritually touched! I have only had to destroy a Sister once, and I didn`t much like it, but she brought it on herself. With all the rest of the Sisters we get along great, we just have to use a lot more caution with what we say to them. It is great! I`ll be able to handle any wife after all this!

Thank you so much Mom for all of the hard work that you have done to get me into college and to get me financial loans and all that jazz. Everything will flow so much better because of it! The apartment Jared is staying in sounds good.  Any housing back home is going to be luxury for me don`t worry ;) Cheaper is better.

I know it is going to be super cold compared to here when I get home.... at least it will almost be summer though, right?

Nos vemos!!! Elder Rice

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Running on fumes

So...Funny story. Every night we go to bed at 10:30 pm. Before going to bed we always say our personal prayers, right? So I always kneel down next to my bed and it´s all normal. Anyways, I am not sure at what point I fell asleep, but last night I woke up on really sore knees and my arms were both asleep. Because of all of the really short nights recently I think my brain got messed up on what time it was, (as we are always up before sunrise and down after sunset). I figured that I had just fallen asleep during my morning prayer, so I got up and got ready to go hit the gym. At this point my companion was still asleep, so I looked at what time it was.... Just a little passed 11PM... I got a pretty good laugh off that... My body is so tired!
One guy workin' 2 guys watchin'...

For P-day yesterday my companion and I realized that we didn´t have anything that we had to do! It was such an exciting moment when we realized that after doing our shopping we would be able to just hang out in our house! I planned to take advantage of the time to write some letters that I have been meaning to write for quite a while. Don´t all get too excited though, cause I ended up just falling asleep.

I am really tired... But I wouldn´t have it any other way. I love the work that I am doing. I love the people here in Guatemala. I love the challenges. And more than anything I love God. These have been the most well spent 22 months of my life, and I still have 2 more months to spend really well.

You asked about my daily schedule. From 4:30 to 8:00am we go lift weights, eat breakfast, shower, get ready etc. From 8 to 9 we usually get personal study in if we have time,then from 9 to 10 we study as companions. From 10 to 11 we have language study, but we almost never get that far into our morning without having to do something administrative or governmental in the zone. We still follow the normal missionary schedule, we just have meetings in the capital 3 hours away, meetings in the districts which are anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours away, or meetings with the local leadership. They say the higher you get up in the church, the less you work with people. All I know is that I am totally whipped. J My companion says its like husband training camp.

It will be really nice if the weather is nice when I get back! I am getting used to the cold, (it averages 80 degrees in the day, and 55 at night. He’s going to freeze and die in Rexburg, Idaho at school! J)  but it really is nothing compared to how it is going to be back home, eh?

So I have some questions for you! I am starting to plan out my future when I get back and I need some information to be able to adjust accordingly.
How much money will I have left in my account when I get back?
Is there any word and/or suggestions on where I will live at college?
Should I plan on obtaining motor transportation, or just take a bike/longboard?
There are more but I can´t think of them now.

Anyways... Hasta Pronto! (58 days.... not like anybody has them counted though)

Love you lots! Elder Rice