December 17, 2013
Well, I thought I was safe, that I would be a city boy for a good chunk of my mission. But alas, it was not to be. This transfer meeting I was assigned to serve in Jacarandas, Escuintla, or, in other words, the coast. Everything was going well on the bus ride to my new area, it was a beautiful trip actually, until I saw that the road ahead on us seemed to run off a cliff. The highway quickly plunged down fun the cool heights of Guatemala City into the blistering heat and humidity of the coast.
As some of you know, I really don't like the heat, and if it's humid too... However, about an hour after arriving in Escuintla I made a decision. I decided that if I was going to suffer (and already I was. I had never sweated so much in my entire life), that I was really going to suffer and would push myself harder than I ever thought possible, and dedicate that increased suffering to Christ as a Christmas gift. A rather good present I think. However, as that one scripture in Mosiah says, we will always be unprofitable servants. As I have tried to work even harder, absolutely flying up all the hills in our area, regardless of the heat and humidity, I have found that heavenly Father has made it so that it is far easier than I ever would have imagined. (Speaking of which, I challenge anyone to a long distance speed walking competition).
Anyway, my Christmas this year will be a little different that it would be in Medford. Instead of Christmas trees we have palm trees. Instead of snow we have ash (the ash is from the safra, when everyone burns their sugar cane fields to prepare them for next season. The ash gets blown by the wind and covers everything in the house). Instead of eating a ton of cookies and desserts, I'm back to eating cold rice and beans and old tortillas. (The past two transfers I have been spoiled by the relative quality of our cooks.) Instead of spending Christmas with my family I will be spending it with my companion, Elder Carcamo, from Panama, and a house full of GIANT cockroaches, lizards, and rats. However, this Christmas I will be celebrating in a far purer way by serving and thinking about others rather than myself.
Anyway, I hope all of you have a great Christmas and remember to look for opportunities to serve on that day (well, especially that day).
Love you all,
P.S. Tomorrow we have a mission wide Christmas activity in El Frutal. We get to go to the temple (!!!). But we have to get up at 1:00 so we can walk an hour and a half (and that's at missionary speed) to catch a bus to the capital. In other words, 2.5 hours of sleep. Oh yeah...