Hey Mom, Dad, and Hope
So, today, Thursday June 4th, is my second day in the field. Luckily, the mission is set up so that every time a change happens, the missionaries get to go to an internet cafe and use email to update their families. I will get an hour every week to email, so expect long emails from here on out. Today I have a lot on my mind, but I´m not sure if I´ll be able to get it out on the page. First of all, let me update you on the last two days.
Tuesday morning: Everyone woke up VERY early to get their bags (maletas) downstairs and outside for pick-up by the AP´s (Assistants to the President). Everyone was ready to go and that went smoothly. The Mission Home, where President Baldwin lives is just across the street from the CCM, so we didn´t have to go far. We got to the house at about 6:30AM and then President Baldwin started the initial interviews after a brief welcome to the Mission Home. He went in alphabetical order, so i had a while to wait. It was weird being the only North American newbie...I haven´t really heard much English since I left the CCM...But that´s okay because I´m understanding more than I thought I would. Every experienced missionary I have met since then has said that my Spanish is very good. I´m taking heart in this, even though I still frequently get lost in the middle of a conversation. Anyways...After my interview with President, which went very well by the way Mom and Dad, we all had breakfast and then had more orientation. It was probably the best breakfast that I´m going to have for the next 22 months... After the orientation we had a little time to study or rest because we had to wake up so early. After rest and lunch, more orientation with the mission nurse and the AP´s and Secretaries. The upper levels of the Mission Leadership have it pretty nice here, but my perception of the ¨comfort¨ factor was about to be shattered the next day. We all went to bed on time and I got my first opportunity to give a priesthod blessing in Spanish. One of the Latino Elders was having sinus trouble and asked me if I would give the blessing. It was extremely hard to think of the words to say until I started feeling the Spirit, then it was easier. It was short and not well structured, but it was a priesthood blessing nonetheless. I´m sure that I will be giving many of these in the next 22 months.
Wednesday...was an interesting experience. The morning went just like the day before, in comfort and structure, but when it came time to receive our assignments and go the Mission Office, things got difficult and fast-paced. The Assistants tok our bags to the office beforehand, so that wasn´t a problem. The real experiences started after our tour of the Mission Office and the introduction to our Trainers. Here is my assignment information for all those that are curious:
My Mission= Guatemala City Central
My Zone= Villa Nueva (New Way)
My District= Unión (Union)
My Area= Promisión (Promise)
My Trainer= Elder Molina (from Honduras, speaks Spanish fluently and quite a bit of English, he has five sisters and his family are all members)
Everything in Guatemala runs on the buses, so my traveling to my area was very interesting, considering that every bus is always packed to the gills with people and baggage. Trying to haul around three bags was hard and I sweat like a pig, but I´m very glad that I have the provisions and clothes that I have. It started raining about 10 minutes from our area, so when I got off the bus I and my lugguage were instantly soaked. Dont worry though Mom, because my bags are hard backed and pretty waterproof, not much got wet at all. I just have to let my bags dry out. Anyways, our apartment is tiny, we rent it from a small family that lives on the other side of the wall, and I was shocked at how dirty it was. But, just like I was trained by my parents...I immediately started looking for a solution to this problem. I asked my companion for water, bleach, and a rag and then I got to work for about an hour and a half cleaning my desks, my side of the study room and the ceiling above my bed. There were tons of little spiders and I think it´s going to take a while before the apartment is really ¨clean¨, but I think we can evertually get there. In true bachelor fashion, all the missionaries before me had left the rooms uncleaned, the bathroom a mess, and tons of their old stuff behind for others to throw away or use. I´m in a situation, but I´m definately going to try to make the best of what I´ve been given. Thank you, Mom and Dad, for teaching me how to live clean and organize...I think I´ll need those skills a lot over ther next 15 changes. Also, we visited two families last night. A newly converted family, Familia Rodas, and a member family who was celebrating a birthday for their daughter Michelle. It was fun to get to know them and to try to teach a couple spiritual thoughts to real people. Overall, a very long, but full day.
Thursday, today, we had a morning full of more interesting things. I cleaned more, exercised, studied a little, then we left to go to a District Meeting and our Zone Counsel. Our District is pretty small, only six elders, but our Zone is made up of about 16 elders and 6 sisters. It was nice to meet everyone a little and get to know how these meetings go. Now we are here in a internet cafe writing for a bit. I have a lot of appointments tonight with members and investigators, so I should have a lot to do tonight. Right now I just got informed that i have to write President Baldwin a letter and I only have ten minutes left. So this is Goodbye for now, sorry this letter wasn´t very spiritual, just filling you in on the details of the last couple days. I´ll write again on P-Day which is on Tuesdays still, now and for the whole mission. I love you all so much and look forward to hearing more from you. Love you SO much and miss you EVERY minute.
-Elder Preston William Tucker