Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Elder Jeremy Taylor's letter, July 29, 2013

 Hello Everyone

David Taylor
7:20 PM (12 hours ago)
to AnnetteCamCaseyDelDennisElderElderGeneHalJenJenMollySampsonHansenThorpeNicholasNickStevenme
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Daniel Taylor <taylord123@myldsmail.net>
Date: Mon, Jul 29, 2013 at 12:33 PM
Subject: Hello Everyone
To: David Taylor <tdvdbtylr@gmail.com>

Well things here in Guatemala have been really good.  I have heard about that missionary, but I really don´t know anything about it because no one has said much.  But oh well.  I guess that isn´t something I want to be thinking about right now.
I arrived here in Guatemala early in the morning on Tuesday.  It was probably the most uncomfortable 6 hours ever haha because there was no leg room on the plane so I couldn´t really sleep much.  But after I arrived, we got on a bus and drove for 4 hours until we got to Retalhuleu.  There, the 27 of us in the group met the mission president and his wife, as well as some others.  We ate some pizza at the chapel we were in, and it is different from American pizza because they don´t put tomato sauce on it.  It was good, but it was different haha and it is super cheap.  Also that very day besides all the introduction stuff and going over some important mission stuff, I got the opportunity to go out for 2 hours with one of the "Professional Missionaries" who have been here for a while and teach.  So I went around with an Elder Ciaza from Peru and it was really awesome.  The first house we actually went to had a huge flatscreen TV and a huge sound system set.  So even though Guatemala is much poorer than the U.S. ($1=7.75 Quetzals approximately), they have a lot of the stuff that we have back home.  At the second house though, there was a suspicious person hanging around the entrance of the house of the investigator and I thought that he was going to do something.  It was a little nerve wracking, especially since there were three of us new missionaries all in the same house with two regular missionaries.  But luckily this young man didn't do anything because we brought him in and tried to include him in the lesson to keep him busy.
Well so you're probably wondering who my companion is.  His name is Elder Gomez and he is from Chiapas, Mexico which is in the South I think. He is a really funny guy, but he doesn't know that much English which in a lot of cases makes it difficult for me because the other two elders in my district speak spanish really good so I don't understand the regular conversation language that they use.  My district leader, Elder Barnes, is from Texas and so at least someone else speaks some English here occasionally so that when I don't understand what they are saying, he will try and help me every once in a while.  His companion, Elder Gazo, is from Managua Nicaragua and is a real character haha.  Let me tell you him and my companion hit it off right away.  They are always joking with each other and going crazy.  But yeah that is my district.
The area I am serving in is called Catarinas and it is a pretty big area, at least to me.  We of course do not have a mission vehicle, so instead we usually walk to all our appointments.  But we also have the option of riding a tuk tuk, which is like a...I'm not sure.  Like the body of a smart car almost, except that the roof and sides is just some type of a cover and it only has three wheels.  It reminds me of a motorcycle almost that has been outfitted differently to carry several people.  But it is quick and only costs about 5Q for a ride somewhere.  They also have big cargo vans and buses, but we never take those.  Oh one thing about the driving here in Guatemala; I don't think there are really any rules to driving.  Out here in the rural areas it isn't too bad, but in the city it is nuts.  There are no traffic lights anywhere, they basically just have these speed bumps every so often, more concentrated in the cities.  So the people are always swerving in and around people, I have failed to determine if there is a speed limit, and it is just plain crazy.  Out here in Catarinas it isn't too bad so I don't worry.  But in the city, especially when I first arrived in the capital, I doubted the safety of that travel.  In fact, my first 5 minutes on the bus from the capital to Reu, we saw someone that had been hit.  Yeah it is that crazy.  I'll try and send a picture another week.
The county here is so beautiful.  It is so green and just plain awesome.  Not only that, but I am sure glad that I can basically buy anything here.  Yeah, everybody here has a cellphone, almost everyone has a TV, and many people have trucks/cars which are almost all Toyota haha.  So it isn't really that bad.  They even have nice stores like a supermarket like in America, only it is much smaller, you have to put your bags in a locker until you are done shopping, and there is a guard that walks around carrying a shotgun with his finger on the trigger the whole time.  Talk about craziness.  One lady that was baptized this Thursday owns a pharmacy with her husband which makes me really glad because she knows a lot about how to help.  I am so glad that I have some medicine on hand and don't have to buy it yet because I had a really bad headache one day and had to take pepto two days later.  But I am doing much better and I haven't had serious problems.
Well like I said in Mom's letter, the people here are the same as back home.  I believe that people all over the world are the same, even if they have different cultures or circumstances.  They all have the same type of characteristics and as I have worked with the ward mission leader, paco, and the bishop, they remind me a lot of our ward at home.  They are so kind and have really taken care of us.  We eat at ward members houses and they even do our laundry.  So they take care of a lot of that stuff.
I think I have to go now.  I'll try to say more later.  Adios!


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