Hola from the beautiful country of Guatemala! Sorry this is a bit unexpected but they changed our p-day to today because we got to go TO THE CITY today! So I'm a bit sad that I don't have any emails to read this week. Hopefully I'll get some dear elders and letters this week (hint hint) I read your email that you sent to Matt so I can kind of gather some things about how your weekend went. I'm glad BYU beat washington, keep cheering for them for me. And everyone here was pretty surprised about the announcement that BYU is going independent next year. None of the other missionaries have die-hard BYU fan parents (or maybe they just don't want their sons thinking about football..) so nobody else knew except for me here. But I think that it will be good for us especially in basketball to be able to play some good teams like gonzaga and st. mary's, so that's exciting. I hope you all had a fun Labor Day weekend and that you enjoyed your time together without Matt and I.
Anyways, things have been just passing me by here in Guate. It's so hard to believe I've been here 3 weeks and even harder to believe that I've been gone for 6! All of the Latinos and the viejos (older CCM gringos) left yesterday and today, so that was a little bit sad. We had 2 great roommates that left and I was really close with a ton of the Latinos here, so that was kind of sad. But the good news is that we are getting gringos nuevos tonight and Latinos nuevos tomorrow! So we're excited for that.
Today was a great day. We got to go to the Market and the city to do our little tour and just spend some time in the city. It started off by getting mcdonalds for breakfast (a heavenly breakfast, although we do get to eat nachos and beans sometimes for breakfast here. yum!) We went to the market first and bought some great stuff. It was fun because we got to barter for everything with the vendors, so you always have to ask for half of what they are asking for at first and work them if you want to get a good price. I have to say that I enjoyed working the price down and worked it down a few times. I bought a jumbo bag that is really cool looking, an awesome poncho, a guatemalan puzzle box, 2 Guate jerseys and some pineapple that was absolutely delicious. (you may be surprised to hear that I did NOT buy a machete. It took every ounce of my strength not to. Presidente Steimle told us that he didn't want us to get machetes, and I am trying to be obedient, so I didn't buy one EVEN THOUGH there was another elder that did get some.) I think that I am in love with pineapple. Something that I had the other day that was so ridiculously good was pineapple slices (like the ones we had at the Gutierrez's house) but we had cinnamon on top. So delicious! So you should try that and tell me what you think.
So after the market today, we went to Mira Flores which is a massively large mall that is the biggest mall I've ever seen other than Mall of America. It's built on a bunch of Mayan ruins (the whole city actually is) but we got to go through a little museum while we went to the mall too, so it was fun to do that. They first thing we did at the mall was eat fast food. We went up to the foodcourt and I got a large quarter pounder combo and then we bought 2 large pizzas and breadsticks from Dominos. I ate half of a pizza and 1/4 of the breadsticks. I will send pictures at the end of my time here to give evidence of this accomplishment. After that we decided to look for a candy store in the mall. Even though they feed us great here and the food is pretty good, I find that I need treats and candy all the time and I don't have any. So we all got a bunch of candy to take back to the CCM and share between the five of us (me, Elder Glenn, and the threesome--Elders Underwood, Wathen, and Fawcett) so I'm pretty excited for that. The city is massively large and is pretty diverse. There are some really run down and sketchy parts and then there are places like the mall that are nicer than most american malls. But after seeing some of the parts of the nicest city in Guatemala, I can only imagine how run down other places will be. Oh and I forgot to mention that before we did anything else, we went to that map of Guatemala that shows the landscape and topography and everything and that was cool because I got to see how my mission would be in terms of geography. Most of my mission is jungle, not mountains. There are parts of my mission that have mountains, but its not even close to as many as are in Central and Quetzaltenango. I'm ok with only having that many mountains though, I think I'd rather have the jungle. So anyways, that was fun.
I'm really loving my district here, they are all great elders and I got along well with all of them. Elder Glenn and I are pretty close with said threesome. Elder Underwood is awesome and a ton of fun to be around. He is really tall and redshirted on the BYU volleyball team so he will play when he gets back which I think is awesome. He's a funny Elder and we are going to hopefully make an awesome companionship in the field sometime! Then there's Elder Wathen who is from Provo and is really funny and makes me laugh all the time. We are all going to hang out in Provo when we get back. Then Elder Fawcett is the quiet one who is just really funny and good at a lot of things that I would never expect him to be good at. He's so funny.
Well I better go now because I think I'm a little over my time. So I love you all, and I'm sad I haven't heard from you all in a couple weeks but I expect a lot this next week! Keep me in your prayers because after about an hour I will be speaking solamente espanol (only Spanish)for the next 2 years basically! I love you all and pray for you every day. Hope you had a fun weekend and I can't wait to talk to you again. Love you all!!!!!
Con mucho amor,
Elder Jace Norton