Sunday, November 30, 2014

Week of November 24 2014: Out of body experience

Hi everyone, 
Sorry for the short email last week--the elders ahead of me went half an hour over their time, then shut off the computers because they wanted to leave (rude). Once again, however, I have very limited time, so I'm going to try to cram a bunch of stuff into this email. 

1) This week, we committed someone else to baptism! Her name is Flory and she's 15. She told us she felt like she hadn't gotten an answer about whether or not she should be baptized, then later she said that she had felt really inexplicably happy after praying about it, and we were like DUH that's your answer. So then she was like oh okay cool, can we have cake at my baptism? So she's preparing for the 6th of December!

2) On Tuesday we taught a lesson with a member, who's a recently returned missionary, and after, her family took us out to this taco truck to eat something called gringas (which is funny, because I am also a gringa, ha ha). It was maybe the best thing I've ever eaten--they're kind of like quesadillas, but with crispy fried corn tortillas and oh my GOSH the salsa bar was a work of magic. I had like 4 different sauces and they were all CRAZY spicy but so good. We drank Cokes from glass bottles and I was speaking Spanish and it felt totally normal. It was kind of an out of body experience, but pretty cool (and delicious). 

3) One of our investigators lives way up in the mountains almost, and she has a million animals, one of which is a TINY kitten named Luna, who I held and we took pictures with (grammar, sorry). I'll try to send them at some point, but it was probably one of the cutest things that's ever happened to me. 

4) Last week, we helped an investigator carry giant bags of maiz from the store up to her house, because she owns a tortilleria and we wanted to help her out. They're all over the place, and it's kind of cool, because it sounds kind of like music--it's like a bunch of people are clapping their hands and slapping drums. I also helped someone make tortillas this week, so now I know how!

Once again, I'm out of time, but I'll tell you something funny/sad--it's so humid here that all of my envelopes have self-adhesived. So that's a little view into my daily life. Also, I have a horrible watch/foot tanline. 
I love you all, and I hope everyone has a happy thanksgiving! (I won't be celebrating it, because it doesn't exist here, so eat a piece of pie for me.)

Hermana Campbell

Monday, November 17, 2014

Week of November 16 2014: Two Months--Sweet Tan Lines


Today is the official two-month mark of my mission! My companion made me a card that she left on my desk this morning, which was really nice. I kind of can't believe it's already been two months, yet at the same time it feels like I've been here for my whole life. I have some sweet tan lines already, from my watch, shoes, and on my collarbone and arms. I'm amazed they've developed so quickly, but I'm sure they're only going to get worse in the coming months. 

This week was my first baptism! Her name is Sandra and her husband is a member, but he was inactive, and then she started investigating, and now they're planning on going to the temple together! She got baptized on Saturday and it was really beautiful and she cried and I cried. There was also a cockroach in the baptismal font when we got there to set up, which our ward mission leader fished out with a broom (that's one holy cockroach!). Here's a picture, if it will load:

So that was fun. I also had divisions for the first time this week, and I went to another area with the sister training leader and it was terrifying but also fun! We had a recent convert with us, and her name is Maybe--all I could think was "her?" (50 points to Gryffindor if you understand that reference!!)

There's a lady we're teaching named Jaclyn who runs a little food business, and we have to buy something every time we teach her. We usually get chocobananos, which are maybe my favorite thing about Guatemala. They sell them everywhere, and we buy them from Jaclyn for 3 quetzales each (which is like 40 cents). They're basically just frozen bananas dipped in chocolate, but when it's hot outside (which it is, always, despite what all the Guatemalans say--apparently this is the "cold season"), they're like the best thing in the world. 
I'm out of time to write because I got started super late because this guy wouldn't get off the computer, but I'll write more next week! Love you all!

Hermana Campbell

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Week of November 3 2014: Dia de los Muertos

Hi everyone, 

This is my first P-day in two weeks, and suffice it to say that it couldn´t have come any sooner. Hermana Campbell is finally out in the field, and BOY has it been tough! My area is called San Cristobal, and it´s infamously difficult. So far we only have two baptismal dates (and I didn´t do anything to procure them), but we have a lot of new investigators. Yesterday we were walking around in Balcones, which is a poorer part of our area, when we stumbled upon a huge family sitting outside their house (I say house, but it´s actually just a bunch of sheets of metal stacked together). We taught them the restoration, and they were really willing to listen and excited about everything we said. It was amazing. 

One of the crazy things about here is the huge variance in living conditions. We live in a little apartment behind a member´s house, and within a fenced-in area called Pinares. There are so many of those types of areas, kind of like gated communities, except not everyone that lives there is rich like you would expect in America. So our apartment is pretty okay, but just down the street lives a member family who live in a metal shack and they don't have electricity. I don´t know. 

One thing I do know is that the babies here are reeeeeal cute. On Wednesday, we went with a member to visit one of her friends and taught her a lesson, and the member brought her daughter Crystal, who's two and so smart. She held my hand the whole way there and she had maybe the worst smelling poopy diaper I've ever encountered.

It´s really, really hard to speak Spanish all the time. My trainer, Hermana Merlo, is from Nicaragua and can understand some English, but she can´t speak it, so I barely every speak English out loud these days. That's a big adjustment. It's also weird to go places like church and riding buses and have people try to talk to me and have zero idea of what they're saying. But whatever! I'm learning!

This is the cold and rainy season in Guatemala, which basically feels like Seattle in spring, except that the rain is waaaay heavier. On Thursday we were out teaching a lesson and it started pouring, and we had to walk home two miles in the rain. We were completely soaked. But it was a good educational experience, because now we always take our umbrellas. 

Saturday was Dia de los Muertos here, which is a pretty big deal. There were tons of people selling flowers on the street and in the cemetary, where we went tracting and taught the Plan of Salvation (clever, right?), which was cool. The members we live with, the Menas family, made us a traditional Guatemalan Dia de los Muertos dish called fiambre which consists of a LOT of different types of meat and a lot of beets. It Mostly I haven´'t had to eat anything too weird yet, but I'm still inside the city, so we'll see what happens when I get transferred. 

This week was mostly tough because 1) it was my first week and 2) my companion got some really bad news about her family on Thursday. So if you all could keep the Merlo family in your prayers, that would be great. 

I don´t really know what else to say and I´m running out of internet time, but I hope you're all happy and healthy and I would love to hear from any and all of you!

Much love, 
Hermana Campbell