Monday, February 20, 2012

First week in huehuetenango

Well I officially had my first real changes in the mission! It was just as horrible as I imagined, but wont be the next go around:) I finished packing tuesday morning... bags weigh a TON! The member was supposed to come get us at 830 but didn't show up until like 9. Of course this stressed me out since we were supposed to be there at 9 and I had no idea what to expect... but in the end it wasn't a big deal because I ended up sitting there for like 2 and a half more hours. We just sat around waiting at this giant bus stop for them to tell us where we were going and who our companion was going to be. They didn't say anything to me so I finally just asked one of the assistants. Huehuetenango, in the area la vina with Hna Guardado... I actually wasn't sure who she was before she got to the bus station. She is from honduras and about 22 days younger than I am. She goes home in June and will supposedly only be here in huehue for this change. President apparently told her she'll leave after this change because she has about 6 months in this area. She is the third of 8 kids in her family, and comes from a very wealthy family. I felt a little nervous about going to huehue... it is about 2 and a half hours away from Xela. Nervous because in my mind it is a little pueblo with nothing in it, but in the end... I think the members have a lot more money here and it is more city like than Xela! Especially than my area las flores. Way less women where the typical clothes. I am supposedly about 20-30 minutes from the mexico border and you can definitely see the mexican influence in the city... the colors and even the clothes... more bright colored. It is HOT here... ok really not, but about 80-85 degrees during the day (thats a guesstimate) and MUCH hotter than Xela... so that has been an interesting adjustment. I some how have a cold at the moment, but I hoping I can find some medicine today when we buy groceries that will help. It is weird being so far away from xela... probably wont get letters during the change... maybe one time, so you can obviously keep sending them, but the zone leaders don't go to xela every week.
Like I mentioned last week I was nervous about how on earth I was going to get my heavy suit cases on the bus, especially if they made me do it by myself! But in the end, if you can possibly imagine... these men that work with the buses, just grabbed my suit case, threw it on their BACK! and climbed up a latter to the top of the bus. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that! I ended up getting on a bus with another companionship of sisters and then had to get off because I still didn't have my companion. She came super late because her companion was packing to go home. Anyway so got on luggage and all, got off and waiting until hna guardado got there and then got on another bus and headed out.
Well, once we got into huehue and I got over the idea of being in the middle of nowhere and realized that it really is a big city... I got pretty excited about the new area. Our house is really big... three flours! We don't have running water!!! I shower with a bucket.... that is still taking some getting used to. We wash our clothes by hand... boy were my arms sore the next day... took me about an hour to wash all my dirty clothes. Like I said in the pictures... we don't have running water and we are at the mercy of our pila... and when water randomly comes to the house. Please pray that we will get water this week!!!! Because if not, we are going to have to haul water to the house or haul dirty clothes to the members houses to wash by hand, and shower in the other hnas apartment. Don't even ask about how we are going to flush the toilet... haha we probably will have to use purified water to flush the toilet... or simply not go in our house... thats an experience I am praying I don't need to have, but if so, all well! Thankfully I haven't encountered any giant spiders with the new heat... that is most certainly a blessing. Hna Guardado thinks I am strange because whenever she wakes up I don't have sheets on... definitely don't need sweaters or anything like them here in huehue. I put sunscreen on about two times every day and I still get a little burned, probably because I sweat! Our area is very hilly.. very steep hilly! So that is great and not so great. Great because my muscles are growing.... not so great because scriptures and books of mormon and pamplets weigh a LOT!!!!! The houses here are a lot bigger, they all have nicer fridges, majority of families have two of them... not quite as big as ours but still big.
This week I have gotten to meet the majority of the members which is great. It is amazing to see the difference in the wards... as they'd say in spanish ellos son PILAS! basically they are SO on the ball and they have just given us references without having to ask. The bishop is really nice and very willing to help us out. There are some pretty big issues caused by previous companionships of missionaries here in the area... we are going to do our best to fix them. Yesterday you'll be glad to know, I talked in sacrament meeting and played the piano! I most certainly can't play both hands, but when the members are used to nothing and all of a sudden have piano they seemed pretty grateful. I am going to try and practice so I can play the hymns better, and more than the hymns that only have 1 flat or 1 sharp or none at all... definitely a huge blessing that I had to take my piano class at michigan... helped a ton yesterday. We teach the gospel principals class, and all the recent converts are menos activos... so we teach it more to menos activos. One of the recent converts is addicted to alcohol so we will see how we can help him overcome that. He supposedly drank two nights before his baptism, but who knows if that is true or not.
The members are super nice... we eat with a different member every day of the week for lunch, which will be so great! We don't pay them and hopefully that will make up the difference for the higher cost of food here in huehue. Something crazy is that in the same country they have inspection stops for food! We stopped as we came into huehue and they checked our bags for fruit from xela because you are apparently not allowed to bring it in. I had an orange in my backpack but they didnt end up looking in it. There is apparently a bug on the fruits in xela they don't want in huehue... they don't need to worry though. All my food is cleaned in bleach!
Anyway, keep me in your prayers over the next few weeks... some of the sister missionaries have left a mess here in huehue and my companion is what you'd call baggy... aka anxious to go home and still has 5 months left. But I know heavenly father is going to help me and I can't wait to show these members that I am going to do all I can to show them what a good missionary can get accomplished. They love the violin and piano already which is great. I really love being in a new area, and for the first time ever... hna guardado likes contacting doors and has taught me how to do it better! I love you all and hope you have a great week! Can't believe in four weeks I will be an aunt!!!! Talk to you next week!
love, hna nelson

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