Sa inch'ool arin sa' Tucurù ut Guatemala! (There is happiness in my heart here in Tucurù and Guate!)
First of all, I love all of you. I really can't thank you enough for your emails and your support and your love. I don't know what I'd do without all of you. You are all the best! Mas chab'iil lin hunkab'aal! (my family is awesome!)
Ok so let me answer some of your questions a bit before I forget.
About the food, we have little tiendas all over in Tucuru where we can get just about anything we could want. Our menu consists mostly of hot dogs, eggs, grilled cheese, peanut butter and honey sandwhiches (until I ran out of peanut butter..), beans. tortillas, and sometimes chicken sandwhiches with little pieces of breaded chicken. So yeah we eat really well and are really blessed in Tucuru. We really have everything we could want. We get chips and soda and ice cream sometimes so it's really great and we really are blessed in our area. And everything's really cheap! I can get a snack sized bag of chips for about..20 or 25 cents. So it's great. Also I figured out that the builñding with the big blue roof is the market building that we have. And there's a big yellow Catholic church next to it. And we live further...west I think? More towards the main city. And yea we cook all of our meals. But in the Polochic, there's no rule about eating with members. If they give us food, we have to eat it cause if we don't the members will go inactive a lot of the times. So that's always fun. This past week we went up to Vinaroz again and we got fed two bowls of caldo (q'eqchi' soup) which actually weren't all that bad I didn't think. They tasted ok. Not good, but not bad. But in the soup they always have some kind of meat or something in it. The first bowl had meat that was really fatty and kind of crunchy that was hard to eat...and the second bowl had cow intestines in it. They were split in half and cooked somehow or another at least. They didn't actually have a bad taste or anything, but it was simililar to trying to eat a giant rubber band I imagine. But I'm proud to say that I finished all of mine. Elder Wixom was given a lot more than me somehow haha and had to ask if he could take the rest home in a bag to eat for dinner (which he did NOT end up doing obviously haha.) So that was the food story of the week.
Zone conference was great, but I did not, however, get my package. I've heard that it usually doesn't take too long for packages to get here, but in the Polochic it takes a while before we get packages. They are working on trying to get a new system so that we can get them more often. So hopefully I'll get it soon. While we're on the subject of packages, there's a different address that you are supposed to send packages to because it's more safe. I don't have it with me but I'll email it to you next week. But anyways there's not a whole lot that I can think of that I need except for more peanut butter maybe haha. I went through that first jar really fast here. I also need to figure out what to do about a camera. Elder Wixom has let me use his until he leaves but once he's gone I won't have one. So. When Elder Wixom goes to his last change conference, I'm actually going to go with him to the capital. I'm going to go through the temple (really lucky for a Polochic elder!) two weeks from tomorrow and then I'll be at change conference the next day. But I think that what we should do is I'll just buy a new camera when we go to the Cap. It wouldn't be safe to send it I don't think, so I think that we need to just have me buy one when I'm in the capital. So I don't know how much you think is is the right price for a camera, but whatever you think you can just put that into my account and I'll get out the money and go buy a camera in the Capital in a couple weeks. And that's really the only thing I can think of that I want. Oh! And there are some songs that I don't have that I was hoping you could put onto a cd and send me. I want "Come Thou Fount" from Reflections of Christ, all of the BYU men's chorus stuff (especially the last conference songs, I Love the Lord, and The morning Trump.) and the 2 vocal point songs we have, Praise to the Man and Nearer My God to Thee. And anything else like that.
Alright so anyways, Zone conference was good. We talked about working better with the members and about using questions to be able to really understand and know the needs of investigators and being able to show our love better to them. We talked a lot about Aaron and King Lamoni's father and how that is a good model for our missionary work, so that was good. In my interview, President Torres was really nice. We just talked for a bit and he told me that it was a blessing to have me here in the Polochic, and how blessed I am to be able to be trained here and to learn Q'eqchi'. He told me to always keep up my scripture study and to keep learning from Elder Wixom. (just a side note to explain a little about him--he really isn't baggy hardly at all. We still work really hard and I don't have to do anything to get him to work or anything like that. He's a great elder and is helping me out a lot.) Then he basically told me that I'll be staying in Tucuru and that I will be the one who has to show my new companion the area so I'm thinking my companion won't be familiar with my area at all. So we'll find out in a couple weeks I guess!
Jack- Great job in your last couple of games buddy! I'm really proud that you are working hard with football and mom and dad tell me that you are doing great! So I'm proud of you for that. Also I'm really happy that your first musical is the one that I did first! Although you are a lot older than I was and you are already doing better than I did. I know you'll be a really great singer/actor if you want. Keep up the good work buddy. Make sure that you are nice to everybody no matter what and that you make sure to be friends with people who have good standards ok? That's really important. And make sure you are an example to them for sure! I love you and miss you a lot buddy.
Kinzie- hey miss high schooler! It's really weird for me when I tell people that my sister is 14 and in high school! I can't hardly believe it! But I've been thinking a lot about you lately. The girls here have many problems a lot of times. A LOT of the girls here get pregnant when they are 13, 14, or 15 years old and it just makes me sick because that's not how it's supposed to be you know? And I have just thought about how lucky we are in our family to have you because you won't ever let anything like that happen. So it just made me thankful to have a great sister like you. I heard you did a great job playing piano for something or other at school so god job sis! :) you have so much talent. Be sure to use it, but don't let it puff you up! Learn how to just be thankful to your Heavenly Father for the things he has given you, and you will be even better off! Make sure you are a good example to your friends and that you keep trying to do what's right always. I love and miss you tons.
Grandma- thanks for your email! I miss talking to you too, but I'll be able to call in a couple of months! I hope that you are recovering well from your surgery! Sorry that I never asked you about that before. Thanks for your prayers and your support for me. I love you and I'll talk to you at Christmas! Have fun with the kids and be sure to give them a good grandma hug with the chin tickling thing that you do for me. Love you Grandma!
Mom- ok I guess I don't even have to forgive you =P But I was super sad that I didn't have an email from you last week! (I emailed him Monday morning, but it must have gotten lost in cyberspace, and he didn't get it until this week) But I had 2 today so that was good. And yeah we hitchike everywhere we go. We just ride in the back of pickup trucks with big rails that you hold onto, or we ride in big vans. We usually have to pay and stuff but they are so fun. I love riding in the back of trucks. I could do it for hours! Except that it's really dusty and the dust gets in your eyes a lot. It is still really green and lush here but especially around the roads everything is just a dusty brown color because there's so much dust. I was surprised too by how much dust there is! My shirts are taking a beating for sure. We'll see how they are in 2 years haha. We have a great laundry lady who does a great job with our clothes too. Good job on the bench! That sounds like hard work! And that's insane to hear about Mark! I'm sure that's hard not to be able to work and stuff! I sent him a letter last week so I hoep he gets that soon. Thanks for being a great mom :) I love you and miss you too!
Dad- Thanks for your advice about pride. I always like getting little tidbits of advice from you. Thanks for being such a great dad. I really love you. I hope work is going well for you and that you are (as always) dominating the courts. Have fun picking Matt up soon! That will be so fun! I can't wait to see him, that big goon. Well I love you tons dad!
Ok. Well this week was fairly normal until the past couple of days. We lost a couple of days of work because of the conference, but we still had a pretty good week. Then last night we went up to Teleman where the ZLs live to stay the night there because we had a zone activity today in Chulac. Chulac is a really pretty place way up in the mountains in our zones. It's a neat place because there are about 700 members in that area alone with 5 branches. Because of that there are 2 HUGE church buildings up there and they are so cool because they're just in the mountains! They're really cool though. But the night before last we had two of our members get shot with a shotgun which was really upsetting and kind of scary. This family is the family of the 2nd counselor in our branch and they are pretty less active. So we've been working a lot with them for the past couple of weeks to activate them and gain their trust and we have really truly come to love them. We had an appointment with them 2 nights ago and I taught the lesson that time (they only speak Q'eqchi' so it was a short lesson) and then we left. We were kind of trying to hurry because we wanted to have another appointment back up in the center which is about a 20 or 25 minute walk. Apparently about 5 minutes after we left, someone came to their house and just shot through the bamboo wall with a shotgun. Two of the daughters were hit, one just in the legs and the other in her ribs and one leg. They had to go to the hospital in Coban and had to have an operation either last night or today. So that was really hard, but I think that they are going to be ok. They're in pretty bad shape right now from what I hear though, and that hospital is really bad apparently. But we sent up some members in Coban to give them a blessing and we've been praying for them, so we're hoping that everything will be ok. But I know that the Lord protected us because I was sitting right where the first were shot. So I know that the Lord made it so that I wouldn't be there so that I wouldn't get hurt and I'm so thankful for that. I know the Lord is working in my life and I can see his hand helping me to learn Q'eqchi' and helping me with everything. Thanks for all that you do for me and I love you all tons. Can't wait for Matt to be home so I can find out about those packages he sent home haha. Make sure to take a family picture with Matt when he gets back and send it to me so I can see what he looks like and so I can have a more updated picture of all of you. I miss you all and I'm working as hard as I can for you. Keep doing what you're doing and stay strong!
Love you all!