November 24, 2014
Dear family, friends, and loved ones,
This week has been insane!! Every week I am here in Salcaja I come to love the people more and more and more. The people are so awesome; they feed us so much even though they have so little to give. Most of our investigators live in tin/wooden shacks, but they still feed us huge bowls of rice, beans, a chicken leg, and of course super spicy chile peppers. I am getting so used to the food here; I don’t know what’s going to happen when I come back to the states! I am definitely going to miss the homemade tortillas/ tostadas, the people down here really know how to make their tortillas.
So this week I’ve been sick, I think it was from something a member gave us to eat but I’m not sure. It’s been a 4 day sickness now, but it is starting to get better so don’t worry. Apparently 1/3 of all the missionaries down here are sick at one time, this is what the mission office told me. It has to do with the cold, and the food. In the mornings it is in the 50s in our room, and it doesn’t help that we don’t have a water heater for our showers=) Haha I’m loving the cold showers!!=) It honestly has been such an awesome experience living here in Salcaja, every day is an adventure!
So our investigator Azusena has been progressing more and more each week. This week we taught the word of wisdom which is no problem for her. She told us that she was coming again to church on Sunday, but when Sunday rolled around, she didn’t show up!! Even though we reminded her, she didn’t show up and she wouldn’t answer her phone, frustrating!!!! And our other family the Gilton family that said that they were going to come again didn’t show up either, and they won’t answer their phones either! I’m not sure what happened Sunday morning, but zero of our previous 7 investigators at church last Sunday showed up. This week has been a roller coaster; I guess you can call this week my first down week. We did gain 5 more investigators which are super interested, but the whole no-show thing on Sunday kind of put a damper on our excitement. BUT, we will continue to work with them, and hopefully Azusena and the Gilton family will get back on track for their upcoming baptismal date for the 13th of December.
This week another one of our progressing investigators left for the US! I am not sure why, but all of the people here in Salcaja that go to the US go to New Jersey. Haha and all of the English speaking Guatemalans here are from New Jersey, or Detroit. One of our new investigators was born in the US, and he is an eagles fan, it was a perfect way for me to start talking to him. What’s funny is that right next door to him is a cowboys fan=) Even though EVERYONE here loves soccer, there are some Guatemaltecos that love Football Americano!! There is a return missionary in our ward named Mario who comes with us some days to teach with us. He actually owns a pelota for American football! Since you can’t buy those down here, it was an amazing discovery. We are going to play next Pday I think, here we go!
So December 7th is a catholic holiday down here, it is literally a day where they celebrate burning Satan. All of the people take all of their trash, and statues of Satan that they have made, and burn it all in the streets!!!! In addition, a lot of grown men and older boys paint themselves black and blue, with nothing on but a little swimmers thong, and run around splashing paint on people. But Even though the actual holiday is December 7th, they have already started their festivities. Yesterday as we were walking to our lesson, we came upon the park that we usually walk through. It was full of catholic people, like literally a couple hundred standing in a huge square. In the middle of the square were these demon painted people running around chasing people and painting them. As we came close to the square, a few people started to notice the ¨Mormons¨, and so did a few of the demons. The extreme Catholics in Salcaja really don’t like the Mormon missionaries, and only the most extreme Catholics participate in this tradition. Needless to say we immediately turned around and backtracked a block or two. We were like 10 minutes late to our lesson, but we were not painted black and blue which was probably for the best.
One blessing that I really received this week was learning how to talk to people more, and even how to knock on the door and get us inside. I was a little nervous at first, but now we take turns and I love it when I pick a house and do the talking and we get inside=) haha the first time or two it was me asking them how they were.......... and then I forgot what to say next!=) Haha my companion would help me out don’t worry, but the first 2 times were a little rough=) This week has been awesome, the work is progressing down here in Salcaja! I love what I get to do every day all week, its awesome building relationships with the people here and growing to love them more every day. I love and miss my family, but I know that the harder I work the more they will be blessed. It is going to be weird not having thanksgiving with my family and eating all of that great food, but it will be another adventure=) The church is true, the people within it are not, but the church will ALWAYS be true. I love you all, thanks for the support, I hope you all have a great thanksgiving holiday!!!!!!!