First off CONGRATS DAN!!! I am so excited for you, I know you are going where the Lord needs you and SO excited you will learn Spanish too! START STUDYING!!! Seriously! It will help you so much! Also, make sure if you buy the sticky notes that Karli has, you bring lots of extras because you will want to do that with your Spanish scriptures they give you when you get to the MTC. I hope you have my teacher!! Hna Sandoval… just so you know… she speaks English perfectlyJ I am SO excited and can’t wait to get pictures and hear of all your fun adventures!
Second! KARLI HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I hope you know how much I love you and just so you know… I had my self convinced your birthday was in April… SORRY!!! I LOVE YOU LOTS and I hope your birthday was fantasticJ Don’t worry, I wont forget that againJ
Another eventful and exciting week! We never stop having funJ This week was an interesting week though… this past Sunday they were having elections and we couldn’t leave the house. I think I told you that… but a few days later was their independence day and we couldn’t leave at 6pm Wednesday until 3pm Thursday. To be honest it was a gift for me because I needed the extra study time… Hna Ramos isn’t quite as big of a fan. But it was good, we did a thorough cleaning of our apt which was GREAT and very much needed.
Another exciting bit of news comes from my Spanish abilities thus far… we were talking with a member trying to get some references. He sells cars so I started talking to him about how dad sold cars and we were comparing the price differences. The cars are cheaper here… a Mazda 3 with everything is like $8000 or so. Then we started talking about other stuff and eventually he asked me how long I’d been in the mission. When I told him three weeks he just about died… he goes Aye! I thought you’d been out for about a year! I was so excited he thought that. My Spanish is FAR FAR FAR from perfect but the people can understand me which is the most important. Hna Ramos and I have eaten with other Hnas that live by us and more than once the members have said, Hna Nelson you know more Spanish than Hna Benton (another gringo) knew when she got here. I always inform them I studied before my mission, but truly honestly… the reason I can talk to well is because I don’t have a shy bone in my body… I am not afraid to talk and my ear is pretty descent from my viola that my pronunciation is descent as well. That was a much needed experience!
So I keep forgetting to tell you but do you all remember the sister I stalked before I came to the MTC? The one whose blog I basically read the entire thing? Anyway, guess what! She is my grandmaJ She trained Hna Ramos and now Hna Ramos is training me. Apparently that doesn’t happen very often. She LOVES the fact that I found her before my mission and that I know of basically all her fun experiences. She came with us and the Velasquez family when we hiked the mountain. The views are GORGEOUS!!! You have no idea! And the temple is so similar to the draper temple. You can basically see it from anywhere because it is on a hill and at night it lights up the city and sticks out more than any other building. I haven’t gotten to see it up close but I can’t wait to see it up closeJ
Second great news of the week. The majority of the members know I play the viola and one of them had a sister who also plays and she brought her viola so I could play it. It was SUCH a nice treat and I loved being able to play it. I realize how amazingly nice my instrument is! Hers was nice too but the sound quality isn’t the same. It was actually made in Utah I guess and her grandma gave it to her as a gift. That was SO fun! I have a video but it is too big to email… any ideas Zach? Let me know next week if there is a way to shrink it down.
I made us brown sugar chicken this week and Hna Ramos LOVES it! She kept saying MUY RICO MUY RICO (exact translation… very rich but she means really delicious!) We need more recipes for easy stove top chicken or soup… that is all we can do. We have lunch every day with Hna Mary but dinner is another story… twice this week for dinner we had jam with crackers and the second day with bread. Oh the life of a missionaryJ
So the culture here is great… we kiss all the sisters on the cheek! I love it and at first was a bit strange but I love it. The interesting thing is that they do it to each other… male and female! Everyone! It was really funny because one day, one of the members sons who is probably 9 or 10 yrs old when to kiss my cheek and everybody started laughing at my reaction and him realizing you don’t do that with the missionaries. It was great!
The families here are fantastic! I am so grateful we live close to members because there are sometimes men parked out front of our house and we have to go somewhere until they leave so they don’t realize with live alone. I never really feel in danger so that is good… simply a precaution.
Last night we ran into this man who everybody knows because he says hi to everyone… we started talking and because I don’t have a lot of time… the gist of the conversation? We left with him telling us he will pray that we can be saved and have a desire to change our hearts… he didn’t like the idea that non members can’t enter the temple after the dedication. I tried to explain to him it was the same in the bible but he wouldn’t listen. It was great…
We don’t have any progressing investigators. It is hard because none of them want to come to church… I am trying to work harder so that they will feel the desire. We have goals of 2 references every day, 10 contacts, and 10 lessons with less actives… we aren’t quite meeting that but bring on a new weekJ
The subject of my email is because this morning... Hna Ramos straightened Hna Benton's hair with an iron... who would of thought! haha!
OH! My address!
Mision Quetzaltenango Guatemala
5a Calle 14-35 Zona 3
Edificio Las Tapias Oficina 105
I am told it will get here if you send it to that address... Hopefully that is true! Oh Brown sugar frosting recipe too please:)
Life is good! I am learning the area... learning more spanish and appreciating the time I have to serve a mission. I hope you all have a good week! I sent two emails with pictures... for some reason I think mom and dad didn't get them... If anyone got them will you make sure everyone did? THANKS!
I LOVE YOU ALL! Thank you for the prayers and support! I feel them every day and I am so greatful for them! Have a great week!
Love, Hna Nelson