Saturday, July 28, 2012

Depart Guatemala Monday, No Temple Windows & Companions

Well Monday is the day I am out of here, the bus leaves at 7:00 and should take about 3 or 4 hours to arrive in San Salvador! I am so excited to be there! I am sick of this place! In my exit interview with Dr. Drake (The head medical missionary for Central America) he said "Unfortunately you will have to say goodbye to the delicious cooking here as you leave...wait, you're going to El Salvador right? OK, never mind, the food is just as good there, no worries!" So yeah, I should be good in terms of food! He also said he loves it when the missionaries get sick there because he loves seeing the most beautiful country in central America and the best temple in the world (He doesn't like that they get sick, he just likes that he gets to go there!)

So on Monday we had our morning where we go out knocking doors and contacting people in the street, which was really good. We got 3 contacts of people who were enthusiastic to learn more and the last lady we talked to invited us in and 3 minutes into our conversation she admitted that she was a member, so that was really funny and cool! I hope that when I get to El Salvador I will be able to send some pictures home, as here they don't let us plug in cameras or send SD cards in the mail, so we will see.

Ummm, I don't really know what else there is to report, just been learning more Spanish and junk, to the point where I feel like everything is repetitious, I am ready to get out of here. So Tuesday we went to the temple again, and the whole session was in Spanish, very cool seeing things in a different language, as not everything can be directly translated sometimes you take different meanings from what you hear, it's pretty cool. Lots of people here love this temple, but I think its kinda boring because there's not a single window, well it's a temple though and I still like it a lot, don't get me wrong. I just prefer windows on them!

I feel like I don't have much else to say in this email, next week will be easier to write an email, I don't know when I will for sure, but I will sometime! I am also ready for a new companion. At times it is really tough because my companion and I never agree on what we should teach or do, it can be frustrating. In Provo when I was with Elder Jorgensen we got along great, of course we all had different interests, as he could do 90 push ups in 2 minutes and I cant even remember the last time I did ONE! But we always got along, had fun, and were easy to fix problems, anyways! There will always be tough companions I will have to deal with, that's just all a part of this experience. I just can't wait to get that companion that we get along like best buds and everything is great! Kinda like when Chris was with Elder Willis (I think... wasn't he one of your fav´s Chris?) Anyways. There will be good ones and there will be hard ones, I have already in 9 weeks experienced both! Anyways! It sounds like all is busy and great as usual, maybe a bit more busy! I love hearing from you all! I love you all!!

Love,

Elder Vaughan

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Motab, Very Large Beetles & a Temple Blackout

Hola! Well I cant believe another week is in the books! Umm, one more week left and then I go to Salvador on Monday the 30th or something, last week I said it was Tuesday, just kidding I am leaving on a Monday, and I don't know anything else about my travel plans other than were taking a bus and it'll take a few hours!

Things here at the Guatemala MTC are so unorganized compared to the way things were in Provo, I secretly love it! Well just a while ago I was outside playing some futbol again and across the street some party was happening and there was a live mariachi style band with blazing trumpets, booming drums and loud bass, it was legit. Some missionaries were poops and saying "ahhh we cant listen to this, what are we going to do?" Ok that's mean, but I just dealt with it because All Ive heard for the past nearly two months is motab... whenever I try and listen to some Paul Cardall or something good (our teacher put tons of music on the computer in our classroom) people freak out and say "were only allowed to listen to motab!!!" Which is so false. So false. The missionary handbook says music that invites the spirit, which Paul Cardall does! One song the lyrics are all all about Jesus and how he is the worthy lamb, or something to that effect, and just because it isn't a hymn people think we cant listen to it... grrr... anyways, It was nice hearing something other than motab for once!

So the title of my email says "very large beetles", you may be wondering why. Well the reason is yesterday on the futbol court we found a huge rhinoceros beetle and I held it in my hand, it literally filled the whole space of my palm and its shell was hard as rock! Freakiest thing I ever saw or held! And its legs had hooks so the punk cut my hand when I tried to hand him off to someone else! anyways, that was interesting! I always wondered if I would see big bugs here, that definitely answered my question... well it was too big to even be a bug, it was an animal, a critter... eh freaky! Soo I don't think anything else noteworthy has happened this week, oh wait we went to the temple on Tuesday and in the middle of the session the power went out so we did a pitch black temple session, well for half of it. And they used a flashlight to read the words and stuff. It was very interesting!

Oh and this Monday, as in two days from now, we get to go trackting again from 9:00 to 1:00, but this time with no Latino help! Only us gringos on our own. It will be lots of fun this week! An then the Monday after that it is to El Salvador! From what I hear when we get to El Salvador we get to go to the beach and play futbol which will be lots of fun, but I don't know how we got to the beach if San Salvador isn't on the coast. Anyways we will see! Time is up again and I look forward to hearing from you all in the future!! I also acknowledge emails I get from grandparents, I don't have time to reply to them all here, that should change when I get to the field! I love you all, talk to you next week!

Love,

Elder Vaughan

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Currency Explained, Central Plaza & Soccer

Well this has been an interesting week, and I am sorry if you have been waiting to get an email, they switched our schedule around so sorry if I had you waiting a couple hours longer than normal!

So before I forget, all I know as far as travel plans is I THINK the San Salvador missionaries are leaving on the 30th (Tuesday I think?) which is one day before the other Guatemala peeps, and we will be going by bus, and from what I hear it's only about a 3 hour drive, so no big deal here.

So Tuesday was the big day where we all went to the central markets and Central Plaza and this other park I will talk about in a moment. Well we went to the markets and I didn't get anything because I only changed enough US dollars into Quetsales that I needed for lunch because in a couple weeks I will have no need for the Quetsales, I got 154.60 Q. which is exactly equal to $20, So the park we went to cost 50, the bus 50, and lunch at Wendy's was 49, So I have one Quetsal and some centavos left, so about 20 cents in US standards. I need my money in US dollars since that is what is used in El Salvador!

So first we went to this park that had a huge map of Guatemala (about 200 feet by 200 feet) that has all the mountains and stuff mapped out in 3 dimensions, it was super sweet, other than the fact it only had Guat on the map and not El Salv! I took some pictures of that and I will send them home when I am in the field when I don't have Nazi MTC computers! Then we went in to the center of town and wandered around the plaza and markets for a few hours, it was craziness. Lots of shops selling handmade woven and leather products such as bags, hammocks, mochilas, blankets and so forth. And then there was the food area that had meat, fruits, vegetables and some cooked foods, that was crazy, places would have huge slabs of meat hanging in their shops and they weren't refrigerated (it was blazing hot) and flies were flying everywhere and it smelled sick. After that we all went to Wendy's and had some cheeseburgers which was well, Wendy's.

So Learning Spanish continues here as normal! Oh, another thing, they have so many police here, and we always hear sirens going off and stuff. All the cops have pickup trucks and they fly down the road with their sirens blazing and about 5 or 7 AK47 armed officers standing in the bed of the truck! Every time we hear sirens go by it looks like they're headed off to war, it's really nuts.

Umm This morning I played soccer for a couple hours as it was P-Day, super fun, I scored three goals today, I was kicking trash. The soccer field is concrete and tiny, surrounded by concrete walls, It is so much fun! But I'm all hot and sweaty now, so I am going to shower now and go get some minutes!

Well Time is up for today! It is great hearing all is well at home!! I love you all so much!

I'll talk to you all next week!

Love,

Elder Vaughan

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Bus Ride, Rejection & Success

Wow, it sounds like everything at home is super busy and yet super fun! Sounds like things are getting back on track at work with the website working properly and potentially hiring some good employees to help with the work!! Also I am excited for Jenni to get her patriarchal blessing today! That will be such a cool experience for her!

So on Monday morning they took all us missionaries and threw us on a public bus and we got off about 9 or 10 bus stops away from the CCM and we were left there to tract and find people to teach for 3 or 4 hours! Now, that was a great experience!! It was tough as you know, everyone speaks a foreign language! Everyone was so discouraged afterwards, I was the only one saying that it went "¡muy excellente!".

We got rejected many times, which was expected, and I just laugh it off. We go up to doors and say "Buenos días, somos misioneros de la Iglesia de Jesu.." BOOM door slammed in face! I think it's funny in a way, I don't know, I am strange! We only contacted one person who was actually interested in learning, and this is probably why everyone was discouraged. I guess all the Utah n00bs expected to baptize by the hundreds in the Waters of Mormon, but really nobody wants to talk to us. And that is what I expected, so when we contacted one guy who wanted to learn more, I was really happy and felt like it was a success!! People are so fixed on the numbers of people they contact, and that really kills their morale when they get a low number, which really doesn't matter at all!

Anyways. This man we met was named Carlos. We were walking on the edge of the neighborhood and there was this sketchy looking shack/house/thing and there was a man sitting outside in a wheel chair working on a broken motorcycle and there were about a dozen chickens and 3 dogs running around his property. In the background there was some legit Mexican music playing! We approached his property which was surrounded by a fence and gate, and we said hola and he invited us in his gate and we started talking to him! He said he wanted to talk to us because nobody ever comes over for any reason and to put things short, we set up for the other missionaries to come back later and teach him, and we gave him a Libro de Mormón to read up on before the missionaries come by later! He had a few kids and a wife around the house too!

So yeah, It was a great experience to actually be out there practicing the language and all! We still have a lot to learn here, but My Spanish skills are pretty good, especially considering that I have only been speaking for 5 weeks now I think, maybe 5 and a half, I don't know! So at church on Sunday, our chapel is nearby the temple, and it was fast and testimony meeting. And I bore my testimony in front of our mostly Latino branch, and when I was done, I don't even remember what I had really said! I feel like it is becoming easier and easier to speak the language!! Anyways, time is up, It is good hearing from you all! Love you all!

Love,

Elder Vaughan