Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Well, I was transferred this week. I am now officially serving in... La Promision, Villa Nueva! You guys might remember that my mission is unofficially divided into three main areas: coast (hot, lots of rain), city (the outskirts of Guatemala City, normally perfect temperature, slightly more developed), and mountains (lots of indigenous communities and dialects, colder).
Villa Nueva, like Villa Canales, is part of the city. However, Villa Canales was just a relatively small town of maybe 20.000 people, Villa Nueva, on the other hand, really is just a chunk of Guate. [I’m not sure what he means by this.] I kept wondering why I felt so uncomfortable in my new area until I realized that I was feeling pretty claustrophobic. It's just one story concrete houses and narrow streets as far as the eye can see. I really need to be in a valley where I can see some mountains or some point of references. Here in Villa Nueva, it's just city and sky. Still, despite the absence of open space, I do like my area. Our zone includes a Wal-Mart, so when we want to pay the big bucks and buy something high quality on P-day, that's where we go (a rather interesting reversal of like in the United States).
My companion is Elder Suarez, from Honduras. He's a super hard worker. We now only get up after 5:30 on P days, when waking up at 6:30 feels ridiculously indulgent. One day we had 22 nuevos (new investigators), which, at least here, is pretty impressive, as it means that we taught the first lesson to each one of them and they accepted a second visit. The strange thing about our area though is that we have two companionships working here in La Promision and they haven't divided the area. In other words, it's first come first serve when it comes to investigators. The area's pretty big though, so it's rare that we run into them while we're tracting.
One thing I will have to get used to is coming to a new area and finding the house completely trashed. Am I the only one who doesn't like a pile of smelly dishes in the sink or a ton of moldy food in the refrigerator? And yep, yet again, we've got cockroaches. Still, it means that I get to do some serve on my P days and clean a bunch, after that it's not so bad.
Also, although Halloween passed (without celebration - actually, I did roast a marshmallow with a Bic lighter to commemorate), November 1st was a pretty big holiday, El Dia de los Fieros. I had divisions with the zone leaders that day and the streets were filled with thousands of people wearing somewhat disturbing masks. My gringo companion and I, with white shirts and ties, standing a head and a half above the rest of the crowd, definitely stood out as we tried to fight our way from appointment to appointment.
One thing our mission president, Presidente Brough, always emphasizes is that we should pray as if everything depends of God and work as if everything depends of us. I can definitely testify that doing so makes miracles happen. We've definitely seen some that wouldn't have come were we not working so hard. I'll talk more about that next letter. The same principle applies to you guys too!