Well, despite what the zone leaders told us 8 days ago, we did end up having changes. I'm really not sure what was going on with changes, but it was a fairly embarrassing change meeting for President Markham to witness. There were so many mistakes as Elder Oseguera, one of the assistants, was reading the changes during the meeting, that at the end he gave up and said ¨ok, who still doesn't have a companion?¨ Two elders stood up and he said ¨ok, you're now companions.¨ It was a little ridiculous, but hopefully everyone got where revelation said they were supposed to be. Anyway, I stayed here in Patzy and my new companion is Elder Gonzales, from Honduras, the 4th ¨catratcho¨ (Honduran) that I've had. He's pretty cool and is actually a convert of less than 3 years. He got baptized, waited a year, and then left on a mission.
This week we've had discouraging setbacks yet again. For the third time in two months, we've had a fecha fija (an investigator who is all set to be baptized on a specific date) fall. Jorge, the most recent, is that super tranquilo investigator who was all ready to be baptized. He passed his interview and everything. Then, his job changed and he had to work far away every Sunday and he said that he doesn't want to be baptized and make a covenant he can't keep so he's decided to wait. I have no idea why it's been so hard lately. I've never struggled so much getting investigators to come to church, progress, and be baptized as in this area. And to top it all off, the members are requiring a lot more patience and charity than normal. Frankly, sometimes I wish I could just call down fire from heaven to burn up the city. Then I remember why I'm here and try to not want to condemn people. Ha-ha, this area really is something... Thank goodness for ice cream. When charity and patience fail, ice cream is always there to make me feel better.
Speaking of blessings and trials, I read Elder Bednar's talk on tithing from General Conference in November 2013. I really like the part where he says that sometimes instead of receiving what we ask for, the Lord blesses us with need. He uses the example of how the Stripling Warriors didn't receive more troops or weapons; they were blessed with peace, faith, and confidence. I feel like that happens a lot as missionaries. We're often praying for specific blessings (for example, that Jorge is baptized this Sunday), but the Lord blesses us with an eternal perspective, or with patience, or with the assurance that we did our best to help that person. And of course, I'd see that ice cream is a pretty solid blessing for which I will not be ungrateful. Can't forget about that.
Yesterday I became surprisingly baggy as I made some snicker doodles during some spare time we had on P-day. It really didn't matter to me that I lacked baking soda, cream of tartar, and vanilla, it was a pretty great experience. It was my first time eating cookie dough in over a year, my first time in over a year smelling cookies baking in the (toaster) oven, and my first time in over a year eating warm cookies. That's also fairly therapeutic. Wow I miss cookies.
Hmmm, not really sure what else to write... All I can really think of is food. There are lots of lime trees here. In November it'll be the time to harvest corn on the cob corn (corn to make tortillas doesn't come until later). Apparently during the month there's so much corn that everyone's making grilled corn on the cob, atoles de elote (a hot corn drink), desserts, bread, etc. Tamales here are different than in the US. They're wrapped in banana leaves and are more like pudding than the dry one in the US. What we call tamales are known here as ¨chuchitos¨ or little dogs. Tortillas are really great. Guatemalan tortillas really are superior to all others.
Ok, I think it's time for lunch now. Love you all!