Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Week 3

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Ok, I seriously cannot believer that another week has already gone by.  I´m over halfway done with my time in the CCM! Everyone I´ve talked to says the time just continues to go by faster, especially once we´re in the field. I´ll be out there in less than three weeks. I´ve learned a lot, but I´ve still got a long ways to go.

Anyway, the highlight of this week was undoubtedly our trip outside the CCM last P-day. First we went to an LDS chapel in Dons Justo, about a 15 minute drive from the CCM. I think that drive was the best part of the entire day. It finally gave me a chance to see Guatemala City. When I came in it was dark and I was a bit overwhelmed, so I didn’t get to see too much. In the CCM it´s pretty easy to forget that we´re in another country, but from the moment we started driving it was readily apparent that we were truly in a different world. We rode in two buses to the chapel and immediately when we pulled out into the incredibly busy 4 lane road in front of the CCM, we had to make a u-turn. If I had been driving the bus I still would have been stuck at that first turn. Drivers here don´t slow down at all for any reason. There´s no stop lights and the merge like maniacs. I was sure we were going to die at least 32 times on that trip. It was a white knuckled ride, but fun nonetheless.

During the drive I also got to see how beautiful Guatemala if. I don´t think I’ve ever seen such thick, lush, deep green in my entire life. I can´t wait to start hiking through those mountains. Right next to the city there´s a massive volcano. It looks like something straight out of a movie. I´m sure it must be throwing off the earth´s rotation, having all that mass concentrated in that one mountain. Being in “real" Guatemala city also reminded me how much work I still have to do before I´m prepared to live here. I was writing down new Spanish words as fast as I could in my mini notebook.

When we got to the chapel we played soccer and basketball for a couple hours (this was our P-day after all), which was fun, but the highlight of our time there was that I made my first street contact! Two other missionaries and I noticed an elderly woman watching us play through the fence. We went over, introduced ourselves and talked to her for a while. I´m not sure whether she had a different accent, just talked faster than our instructors in the CCM, or could clearly enunciate her words because she had exactly 1.5 teeth, but it wasn´t easy to understand what she was saying. Nevertheless, we managed to have a good conversation and she agreed to come to church next Sunday. Maybe I’ll run into her again while I´m out tracting one day...

After that we went to Wal-Mart. Not a very authentic Guatemalan cultural experience, but it was neat to see the similarities and differences between the stores here and the stores in the U.S. The major differences were that most of the products were produced by companies in Guatemala and that in very specifically catered to Guatemalan tastes. I was most interested in a bottle of aloe vera juice sitting right next to the Sprite and Pepsi.

After Wal-Mart we walked over to one of the nicest malls I’ve ever seen to get lunch in the food court. As I watched them prepare my food, I could help but notice that proper food handling clearly isn´t a priority here. Without using gloves or washing their hands they would touch raw meat and then prepare a salad or assemble a sandwich. It freaked me out a little, but I guess that´s why we bless our food in the first place. I´ve been told that I will see much worse when I go to the mercado next week (then I´ll see how the majority of Guatemala City residents live, this trip we were in the wealthiest areas). It really makes me grateful for the incredibly clean, plentiful, readily available food we have in the United States. Especially vegetables, which we don´t really get here. Oh, and anyone who likes physics will be interested to know that in addition to the calorie count on food labels, they also say how many Kilo Joules of energy are a given portion. It´s kind of cool to think about how many meters I could run given my mass if I was 100% efficient on the energy from one ice cream bar.

That’s all I really have for this week. I've been working hard and am so happy to be out here! The Spirit is incredibly strong. We have a couple devotionals every week and they are consistently the best devotionals I´ve ever attended. I´m sure it will be even better when I´m out in the field sharing the gospel every day. Hope you all are doing well! Thanks for all your letters, I really do love hearing from you guys! I wish I had time to compose a long response to each one, but I guess if I had that much time I wouldn´t be very busy with studying and practicing teaching.                                                            

Hasta la proxima semana,    

Elder Cannon

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