First of all, the day I write is about to change. Next week, we have our Mission Christmas Activity, and I will write you on Wednesday. After that, P-day changes to Monday, and Internet changes to Tuesday, so I will be writing you on Tuesdays from then on.
Last Monday was pretty cool. I got to go to Panorama with Elder Gomez. He is from the same part of Honduras as Elder Caceres, and he's a big jokester. He's awesome. We went to go talk to a family (members), and they asked me "Where are you from, Elder?" to which E. Gomez replied "I'm from Honduras!" All in spanish, of course. It was a really great day, we got to talk to a lot of members, and teach some investigators, too. We called it "the day of bananas" because I bought some bananas at the store on our way to the apartment. Then, we went to talk to some members, and they gave us a big bunch of little bananas. Then, we contacted a lady in a tienda (basically a small store) and she gave us each a banana to eat. Elder Gomez has a picture of us holding all our bananas at the dinner table. Sadly, I didn't have my camera that day.
Panorama is a richer area for Guatemala. People still live in small houses, but many to most of them have things like TVs, newer computers, and E. Gomez told me that the Majority of the members in their ward have cars. We saw some nice ones, too. Expensive cars aren't common like near the CCM, but in Panorama they're certainly not rare. Also, one of the counselors in the bishopric there is on his 2nd iPad. In Jerusalem, by contrast, the computers and TVs aren't rare, they just aren't in every house. Our parking lot typically has about 5-6 cars in it during church. One of those cars belongs to one of our High Councilmen, Bro. Harrison. As his name suggests, he's a gringo. I don't remember what part of the States he's from, but he served his mission here, and married someone from his mission, and now they live here in Guatemala. He's really cool, and I always like seeing him, because we get to speak English! He also plays the piano, so we've got something else in common there.
The next morning, we went to pick up the mashed potatoes, then we made our way to the stake center (which is about the size of your typical Utah chapel) for our Thanksgiving activity. We played a little American Football, then we ate turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and jello. I was really missing the heartburn salad, my favorite jello on earth! It was fun, and afterwards we returned to our own areas with our own companions.
The exciting part was that Elder Caceres and Elder Squires, who was with him that night, got an unofficial baptismal date! Rosa, who has been receiving the lessons for a long time, and whom we were about to stop visiting, said she would be baptized! We just have to get her to attend church, and we will be able to baptize her! She (or any other investigator) has to attend for 3 weeks to be baptized, according to Pres. Brough.
We're also teaching William, and his wife. They're really smart and successful, but also really humble. They really want to read the Book of Mormon, and find out that it is true. It's an absolute pleasure to teach them, and I really think we're going to baptize them. I hope their kids are old enough to be baptized, too, because that would just be awesome. In our mission, we have a motto of sorts: "Nosotros Bautizamos Familias" (We Baptize Familes). That would just be great to bring this family into the Church, they would make a great addition to our little branch.
We also had the chance this week to visit again with Bro. Sarceño (sar-say-nyo), our branch mission leader. He's a really cool and funny guy, and we had a good chat about the investigators in our area. Then, we talked about the United States a little. I get a lot of questions about the good ol' USA, as you can imagine. Bro. Sarceño told me that he works with some Germans, and that there are plenty of Germans here in Guatemala! Who knew?? Maybe I'll get to use my Deutsch down here after all!
Also, in case I didn't say this, one of my teachers from the CCM; Sister Ibañez, is in our stake. I saw her at the conference a couple weeks ago. It was fun to see someone I actually know!!
I'll be bringing my camera to the activity next week, so I'll try to send some pictures of me with Elder Corrigan, Elder Najarro, and Elder Caceres.
I hope that everything is going as well at home as it is here. This week was even better for me. I've been trying hard to speak more in the lessons, and Elder Caceres actually told me one night that I did really well that day. He doesn't normally say that, either. :)
Also, the primary program was yesterday, The spirit was really strong, and it was awesome. Sadly, we didn't have any investigators there to feel it.
I love you all!
Until next week,