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Monday, September 8, 2014

#8 Chirijox, Guatemala

Elder Miles Selfie
Well, the bus ride to the mission home which is in Xela (Quetzaltenango) was pretty good.  Long but good.  It was delayed because the main road was out.  The ride was about 5 hours but between us Elder's it was full of jokes and stuff.  I actually don't remember much about about it.

At the mission home we were able to get 5 minute interviews with Presidente Smith and Hermana Smith.  They are both really good people.  Each of them are pretty powerful spiritually.  After that 5 minute interview I was assigned to serve with Elder Mar in the Totonicapan zone,  Chirijox area.  Elder Mar is from Mexico and has 21 months here in the field.  He is probably the best person possible to be my trainer.  I love working with him and he knows how to work.  He has learned quite a bit of english and of course speaks spanish perfectly.  That is the best combination because he gets to learn more english from me and I get to learn spanish fast.  This kid is a miracle worker when it comes to contacting and keeping members happy.  He is able to get everyone laughing and smiling and then just kinda slips the whole missionary thing in and gets the work done. He has a good personality and I enjoy my time with him.  I just hope that I will be able to help him out a lot more in the coming weeks.

Chirijox, Guatemala
My area Chirijox is awesome.  The people are some of the nicest people that I have ever met in my life.  There is no fear of being robbed at all.  They are all great people.  The ward is pretty strong here compared to most places.  We had about 40 attend church and each of them are pretty willing to help us out.  There are also a couple of good soon to be missionaries in the area.  Elder Mar likes to bring them out with us to lessons as translators.  Translators because every single person here primarily speaks Quiche.  This language is the farthest thing from spanish or english.  No cognates.  Gutteral sounds.  I have no clue, haha.  There are times when I say something in my broken spanish which is fixed by my comp which is then translated into quiche.  I'm picking up a few words but it is taking a lot of time just to learn how to say hello or goodbye.  The people love seeing a cancha (gringo) try to speak a few words.  It gets them laughing a bit and helps to ease us into talking just a little bit.  

The area is cold.  There is a town here that we go to everyday that is called Alaska.  It is just nicknamed that because it gets pretty cold.  This also means basically no bugs.  I would definately rather cold than bugs and sweat.  It rains here quite a bit as well.  It starts to rain every night for about 3 hours and then it just stays cold.  On the way back from Alaska on Sunday it rained so hard that we were soaked through.  We ended having to go back to the house at about 8 oclock just because we were so wet. 

I get to eat with the members here for every lunch and usually it is quite good.  The food varies from rice, beans, chicken, beef, soups, vegetables and tortillas.  It is always pretty tasty and the members here are at least somewhat safe with their cooking habits.  I'm kinda waiting to get sick but in the mean while I'm just going to keep taking my multi vitamins!
My flat is actually pretty nice.  It is the second floor of a
Awesome flat
building and has tile floors with a working bathroom and multiple rooms.  The kitchen has a mini fridge, portable stove, and a microwave.  Pretty sweet set up, haha.  The water in all of Guatemala is not safe to drink and there is a mission rule to not drink caffeine.  Entonces I just get to drink the agua puro that we can buy from some of the small tiendas here in the area.  Oh, we also like to eat a lot of the bread from the shops.  It is .5 of a quatzale for a roll size piece of the sweet bread.  I am going to be trying to drink more bottled fruit and veggie drink in order to have more greens on the diet.  I don't like eating the fruit here because it takes too long to sanitize and prepare it.  

The work came to a rocky start in the first couple of days.  We didnt have any food or water so we had to go out and buy supplies.  Things are better now that we've had our first p-day in the area.  The people here are ready for the message that we are going to be sharing.  Within this first week of hard work we have about 5 pretty solid investigators and several people to visit all throughout the day.  I have a pretty hard time in the lessons when others are talking but the spirit always shows me a way to have some personal input.  Usually this is my testimony, but sometimes it is a scripture or a picture to use.  We use a portable DVD player to get into a lot of peoples houses here as well.  Elder Mar will just be like "oh it is only a 3 minute video and it is really good" after having given them high fives and told jokes to everyone who is present.  We have showed "Gracias a El" I think 3 times now.  

In the CCM I would say that this mission stuff would be so easy in english.  Now I am saying that this mission stuff would be so easy in spanish, haha.  The Mayan Indian dialect of "Quiche" and the illiteracy thing are kind of hard to get past.  The spirit tells of truth and sometimes it is hard to show to truth when the people will not be able to understand what they see.  It is all in the hands of the holy ghost at times here. 
I am beginning to really like the work.  So much has happened in the past week that I can't even understand how I feel half of the time.  Usually, the mornings are hard and the nights are the best.  I'm just waiting for my mind to begin processing this all.  Names are hard to learn on top of all of this.  For the most part I am really happy and things are looking up.  I hope to at least have one baptism before the end of the month.  God willing
Love you guys,
Elder Josh Miles

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