So this week was a little disappointing because two of our fechas (people who have set baptismal dates) are being really weird. We visit them every day and they keep saying they want to be baptized, but then they keep going to their old church, so that is confusing. We are really focusing on this one family. Their little kids like me because they can say whatever they want to me and I don't know what they just told me haha. We really don't have very many lessons - we do about two or three. We did one half Spanish/ half Q'eqchi because two guys there knew Spanish, so we were able to talk to them in Spanish a little.
The deal is, our area is so big, there are days we have to walk two hours for one lesson. There are a couple of little villages around where we live, so when we go to a village that isn't the one the church is in we have to walk pretty far. We are just kind of on mountain paths. The paths have nice views but they are pretty trashed. Oh there are tons of mosquitos! And my repellent kind of exploded all over in the CCM so I haven't really gotten to use it too much. I feel like I am on a two-year fifty miler haha.
Out here in the mountains it is kind of a different mission. We stop working when it gets dark which is at like 7:30 because people go to bed way early. As soon as it gets dark people start getting ready, and then get mad if you come visit, including the members. It is kind of a different feel I guess than what I expected. I asked my trainer if we could leave earlier, but he says we just use both morning and night for extra study. If we are going to a farther away village we are allowed to leave early so that is nice.
The kids here are kind of stinkers, they always steal our shampoo and my companions USBs so that is kind of a bummer. Sometimes the village kids throw rocks and dirt at us too, but my companion knows how to tell them off and then they cut it out. Our Primary lessons are going ok. We sing a song and do prayer, then try to teach, but normally just share a video they have in Q'eqchi. We dont have a Branch Mission Leader but we do have a Branch President and he is cool.
I bore my testimony for the first time in Q'eqchi and I think it went ok...but I can't be sure because I'm not always sure what I am saying haha. I need to bear my testimony in front of my whole district and then they order my Q'eqchi name tag. I will send you a picture when I get it. We have district meeting every week. Sometimes we walk or catch a truck that is going down and just ride in the back of that. You just pay them a couple qetz and they will give you a ride. One dollar in the US is worth 8 qetz so I feel really rich here and have to be careful. I really like just being up in the mountains. I don't like going out of our area very much but we have to do it for P-day. When you get a big group of us together, it doesn't really feel like you are on a mission. I just feel like I am with some of my buddies and I get homesick haha.
After letters, we will probably just eat and look around the market. They do have a doughnut place here that is good. Usually we get our groceries on Monday. The store is about two hours away so we just end up stocking up a bunch every P-day. I found this type of strawberry yogurt and I am pretty sure that is what I am going to live off of for the next two years. That and popcorn. My companion and I would like to cook eggs, but we can't because they would probably break on our way up the mountain. The villages have tiny stores to buy little crackers, so that is something, but we try to just eat what we get on P-day.
Tomorrow we have a multi-zone conference so I should have an exciting letter next week! Next Monday I think my companion and I might go to Coban city for a parasite test. The parasite test is only when you think you have parasites and Hermana Curtiss thinks so too. I was sick last week and thought I did, so I might get a test just to be sure, but this one is more for my companion. His stomache has been a mess since we got in Santo Domingo. We might go to a fast food restaurant in Coban. Whenever we go out to eat I always think about how good that Red Robin bacon burger will taste my first day home. Here the food just isn't the same, just not as good as American food. I'm also worried that if I eat fast food I will get baggy, haha. Baggy is the same as trunky, they just use baggy here for some reason. ("Baggy" and "trunky" are both missionary slang for homesick.)
The language is pretty frustrating but I can't really do anything to change it but work hard! I have a dictionary, a grammer book, and three lessons in Preach My Gospel, so that is mostly what I study out of.
Well, my spiritual thought this week comes from Doctrine & Covenants 121: 7-9, "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes. Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands." I know this is easily applied to missionary work, but I think it is easily applied to everyone else in the world too. I mean, when you think about how great missionary homecomings are, think about when we return back to the presence of our Heavenly Father! That's going to be awesome!
I am including a picture of my companion right before he burned his shirt. (A missionary tradition when they hit the one-year mark.)
Also, this bug! I don't know what it is called! but it was massive! and invincible! it wouldnt die!
Ok, well, I love and miss all of you!
Love, Elder Toolson