Thursday, September 30, 2010

PHONE CALL 29 September 2010

A Note from MOM
David called his Dad’s cell phone asking us to call him right back – I got a phone call to call David (DeLoy was at the church).  Of course I was worried and couldn’t get the phone number DeLoy gave me to work so when DeLoy got home we checked DeLoy’s phone and sure enough he had missed a digit.  We called David and I handed the phone to DeLoy thinking that if it was something bad I could wait and wanted to compose myself before taking the phone.  DeLoy did very well and the conversation seemed to be going well, so I got on the other line.  David sounded really good and told us where he is in a little place called Cerrito de maiz (can’t find it anywhere but we know he is somewhere in Huehuetenango). 
I am sure he will write all the details of his trip on a chartered bus to the mission home and Tuesday night in a hotel.  He does have a lady who will be doing his laundry and preparing his lunch meal (rough life for this kid – huh).  His companion is Elder Thatcher from of all places Thatcher, AZ so he is excited about that. 
He explained that his P-day is on Monday so the Mission President gave him permission to call so that we knew he was okay.  He also pointed out that he is only getting mail once a month now.  He still loves letters but I will give anyone his email address who would like it – just let me know. 
I am more than grateful that David is well, happy and being successful.  I have added a few facts about where David is -
Huehuetenango is a city in the highlands of Western Guatemala. It is the capital of the department of Huehuetenango. The population was about 58,000 people as of 2002. The city is located at 15.32 North latitude, 91.47 West longitude, 269 km from Guatemala City.
Huehuetenango was founded after the Spanish conquest of the Maya capital of Zaculeu, the Pre-Columbian capital of the Mam Maya people. Many people of Mam decent still live in and around Huehuetenago, and the ruins of Zaculeu is a tourist attraction a short distance from town.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Email 22 September 2010

Hello my family and friends :)
So I want to tell you about my experience yesterday. Haha. I went proselyting in the park again. This time I was originally companions with my same one. However, Elder Durfey and his companion were together still (two newbie’s), so me and my companion decided to do a swap. So, I was Anthony's companion for the day. It was sweet. On the bus ride, like half my body was outside of the bus. That was cool. haha. The buses get really crowded here... Especially when there is like 40 something missionaries standing in the aisles. When we were walking up to the first guy we were going to talk to, a very crazy/sketchy man was yelling at us. Didn’t really understand what he said, but my teacher was with us at that point. I asked her what he said and she was like it was bad. I insisted that she tell me anyway, so she did.... She said that he wanted to cut off mine and Durfey's heads because we were North Americans and Mormons. That was a new experience... I enjoyed it though hahaha. We taught a guy while this guy was like following us around. I thought I was going to maybe have to give a beat down. I was excited... Haha. We taught this one guy for 40 minutes... I recited the First Vision to him among other things. I have never felt the spirit so strong. It was kinda crazy.... After that, we were walking around. There was some concert thing going on, so there were a lot of like teenagers there. This one group of them was standing around this tent watching some guy break dance, when this other group came running up out of nowhere and started yelling at them. Anthony and I were right in between them..... They proceeded to yell at each other as the one group that was around the tent was walking away... The group that ran over then reached in their backpacks and pulled out rocks and golf balls and started throwing them at each other. One kid was running around with this whip thing that a ball attached to the end. This is when I and Anthony decided to walk away... haha. I couldn’t help but pick up one of the golf balls though. haha. That will probably be in my first package home. Great souvenir from watching my first live gang fight. So sketchy, but so much fun. I love Guatemala. So different from America! haha.
  Anyways... On to the other stuff. Everyone here has such legit music. One Elder here has the Soundtracks to Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter and Jurassic Park and ET.... It is so tight. So, if my next Mission Pres is more lenient on music I want those sent to me. Along with the Best Two Years, the song Go Back on the RM, some Classical stuff, and there is this Symphony called Vitamin String Quartet (I have one song by them, but I want a lot more). Also, sheet music is wanted. Especially for the songs Leave Better (Benton Paul or whoever it is) and Shine (William Joseph, that guy in our Stake). Since your car is having problems Dad, sell it and then put the money in my account. That way I can find a car I really like when I get home, and you can get the most money out of it now :) haha. I really want a Subaru WRX STI. Keep that in mind :) haha.
  So I have come to find out, that my companion is actually the kid Alex Erickson roomed with at BYU. Haha. That was a funny thing to find out. He is a little cooler now because of it. Oh, the other night this Latino down the hall from me shined my shoes for me, along with like 10 other elders. He was so good at it. I didn’t even ask him too! He was just like come here and I was like, if you insist. haha. I have become really good friends with some of the Latinos. Elder Acuellar in particular. He is from south Guatemala and he is going to Quetz. He tells me so much stuff about it. He said I'll see a bunch of Spider Monkeys, big snakes, armadillos, possums, etc. Probably not a Jaguar though :( I’m still hoping I do! haha. I’ve been wondering if you guys were thinking about picking me up or not when this is all said and done. Guatemala is pretty cool. There would be a lot of things to see, but it would be pretty dangerous too. Think about it though!
  OH! I finally got your letter mom. Yesterday... I think I should have gotten it last Wednesday though, they just held onto the mail again. There is a good chance I won’t get your package or other letters. It usually takes a while... Especially the package... You waited a little too long. I went ahead and bought 20 stamps for like 8 bucks just to be safe...
  I basically have the most amazing teacher ever at night. Hermano Cuque went home, and printed off the pictures of Brylee for me and even put it in this little album. It was so nice..... I love that man. He is a National Champ in running here. Pretty cool... haha.
I got kicked in the shin yesterday. That hurt a whole heck of a lot. Huge bruise and scrape now. Freaking Latinos and soccer. geeezz haha.
  So, 6 more days until the field. It is getting pretty sketchy.... I don’t know what to do with myself! haha. I’m sooo excited though. All the things Elder Acuelalr has said to me have pumped me up so much..... Oh by the way, that elder is going to play for the Guatemala National Soccer team when he is done. He said he would hook me up. He speaks English :) haha. The Spanish is coming along. I realized how good I actually am when we were at the park. Since I was with Durfey, I had to do a lot of the talking. It really is coming along pretty well. There is no doubt though, that I will have to learn Quiche. It isn’t a question anymore, just a matter of when. haha. Well I’m very excited to get to Quetz. Tell Becky congrats on the house! I miss you all soooooooo much. I love you guys more than anything! You are the best :)

Elder D. R. Bitner
  coolest elder ever.......

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Email 14 September 2010

Independence Day from Spain
declared September 15, 1821
¡Hola familia y amigos! How is America?? Guatemala is still pretty sketchy but I’m enjoying it as much as I can. So I’m writing again on Tuesday because they switched our P-Day again. Tomorrow is Guatemala's Independence Day I guess. The Temple President requested our P-Day be switched because there will be a lot of people at the Temple Wednesday-I guess... So I’m going today now... Should be fun. So I have learned a few things. Supposedly when you send packages and such, throw a Virgin Mary or Jesus sticker on. I guess it keeps people from touching it. Weird how that works... haha. Well that is really the only thing I guess.  I’m in desperate need of stamps and my stationary stuff. Hopefully you put that in the package? If not, don’t expect too much handwritten mail. I would like a photo album of my family! Especially my new niece...... So sad I missed out on that. Brylee will understand someday I’m sure why I wasn’t there haha. So Ryan is officially out in the field. With the new group of elders, came Anthony Durfey. It is nice to have a friend as always. Haha. With all the new elders, my classroom was changed. I’m no longer at the church for class sadly. I’m officially up on the 3rd floor in the actual CCM building. It has taken some getting used to, but I’m starting to warm up to it :) It hasn’t rained in like 4 or 5 days now. Well like a lot of rain. I miss it. Supposed to rain a bunch next week I guess though. We had a long conversation with a few 15 year old natives at the temple the other day. They just kept making fun of our crappy Spanish. Haha. It was fine though I guess. Oh! With the new entry of white people, all 19 of them...., we got some Latinos too! 40 in all. Almost as much as the 50 we already have here. We have 10 more Latinos than the original time, so that is cool. One of the Latinos is in my room with his North American companion. He is from Honduras. He is a pretty big kid, weight wise. He is so funny though. At night he makes the weirdest sounds and just always says Hasta la vista babbbbyyyy. Haha. Makes me laugh every time. In our new classroom we have a DVD player and a nice TV, like the one in my room for the most part, so we can listen to CDs while we study. That is one benefit of it. Haha. They play music in the halls all the time too. Your kind of Music dad. I swear I’ve heard every song they play like a million times because of you! So it was weird to have 9-11 in another country. They definitely don’t really know about it that much. Our room decided to have a few minutes of silence at night. At the end of those few minutes, there was like 8 gun shots right up the road. That was freaking sketchy... haha. We all got really excited though strangely enough. I just got the mail from last week yesterday. The guy that gets the mail was in Quetz for some reason so we just got it ayer (yesterday). So I guess that will make up for you not making the pouch.... It sucks not getting letters, but I’ll manage. It is weird to think I have been out on this adventure for 7 weeks now. Two more and I’m in the freaking field. I’m so nervous.... but even more excited. Quetz is going to be way more sketch than this area, the nicest area in Guatemala where you see a Range rover, Aston Martin, G-Wagon, etc every day haha. I’m excited for the sketchiness :) Well, I love you all! Sorry I caught you by surprise sending on Tuesday again. You’ll get over it I’m sure. Thanks for the letters! I actually received 2 legitimate handwritten letters yesterday from Kaylee, the girl in OK. First real mail so far. DearElders are just as good though :) Especially from all my family. I love you all!!!!! Stay happy and be strong. Let’s take each other’s hands and make a school wide stand to keep the drugs and alcohol out of the lives of one and all.... Sorry got distracted haha. I forgot to mention I speak like spanish all day now- that is strange, but I’m getting quite good at it. haha. Love you guys so much and I miss you so much as well!!!! Love, Elder David Bitner :) Coolest/hottest missionary ever. (Oh I got a haircut this morning from some sketch Guatemalan. They use a razor for a lot of it, not the electric razor so that was weird. I look even more like a Nazi now. Even the Natives think so ;) haha. Peace!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Email 7 September 2010

A lot to say, but not a lot of time. Guatemala has been freaking amazing the past week. Minus the fact that Ryan is now officially gone :( It is sad. Anthony Durfey comes in tonight though. That will be nice. So to catch you up on what has been going on. Friday, there was a huge storm. I woke up to it pouring rain... Loved the smell. During breakfast the power went out. Came on briefly, but then died right back out. Didn’t last too long in all though. We have had nachos and pizza for breakfast. Not really breakfast foods, but I’m not complaining. It was soo good. Also, on Friday during our TAD time (when we have time to do what we think we need to) I played some soccer with little 9 year old cousins in front of the church on their court. I heard them playing and went outside, and then they asked me and another elder to come play with them. It was so fun. I traded a tie with my teacher. One of the ones I got from Pomeroys. It is nice to have something to remind me of him because I love him so much haha. Best teacher ever. On Saturday it rained so hard. I could stand in the Church parking lot, and the water went up to my ankle. LEGIT! They had a pineapple drink for one of the meals. It was so good. So today since all the other people are gone there are only the 51 people that came in with me. That is the most whites they have ever had in one group but whatever haha. They took us a bunch of places today. It is my acting p-day that is why I’m writing you. First we went to this Topographical Map, like a huge one. Got to see all the geography of Guatemala to its preciseness. Quetz (Quetzaltenango) is nothing but huge mountains. I’m so excited. After that we went to the market in the Central Plaza. I bought a Native Hoodie Sweater Poncho thingy. It is sweet. Haha. Also, I got 5 soccer jerseys that cost 250 Quetzals. It was like 30 bucks. So cheap haha. I got Manchester United, Real Madrid, Germany, Spain, and Barcelona. I love them all :) after the market we went to the mall, where we got to eat. First of all, this is the nicest mall I have ever seen. Nicer than Fashion Square.... I and the other elders I was hanging with went to Taco Bell !!!! It was sooooo good. I loved it.. haha. Best day ever. I got to hear American music :) haha. It was nice. I felt like an actually normal person. After that, we went to this Museum that is connected to the mall. It is all about this city that is supposedly the first city of Nephi. I stood where Nephi stood at one point... Sooooooo sick....... Anyways today was a great day. I feel very accomplished and relaxed. Sorry but this is my only email time this week so you won’t hear from me till next week unless you get one of my letters. I had a sleepover with Ryan and some other kids last night. That was a lot of fun... haha. Like a lot of fun..... So sad he is gone but whatever. Now he is enjoying the field :) Oh, I would like to go on some sick trip when I get home. Look into that... Maybe like a cruise or something, I don’t know. Just something awesome :) haha. Well, Hope all is well. I love you guys. Hopefully the Baby comes soon and is beautiful! Again, I love you all!!!! Love, Elder D. R. Bitner

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Email 1 September 2010

¡Mi familia y amigos! How is everyone??? I'll start off today by talking about my two most memorable experiences since the last time. Last Wednesday, after I finished emailing, I went to the temple here... Also, yesterday we went proselyting in the park. We got on some sketchy "city" bus in front of the MTC here and then drove like 25 minutes to the Central Plaza Park thingy. There were like 200 military people there for some ceremony for the President and Minister of Defense. Or something like that.. It was kind of cool to be there during that. They are loud people. They put me with a Latino companion, Elder Cotton (Whitest Latino name ever). He is from Guatemala, so he was a great help. I actually said a lot more than I expected I would. I didn't do bad at all. In the hour and half we had to teach, we gave out 2 Books of Mormon (Thanks to the Best Two Years I know how to say that) and 7 pamphlets. We got 8 referrals, one of them being to Quetz (Quetzaltenango) so I just kept it haha. We had one guy tell us off... He was old and Catholic. Not a good combo here. Decided I'll just stay away from them as much as I can. It was sweet though to do all that. I'm being eaten alive. Bug bites like everywhere.... Grossness. My teacher challenged us to read the Libro De Mormon in the six weeks we have here, so I’ve been working on that. It is hard... I don't understand most of what I’m reading haha. I’ve been teaching a lot. The main person we teach told us he wants us to teach our District our ways. I guess me and my companion are really good at teaching. Yes, even if Spanish. Weird but cool. I got some DearElders Thursday. That is it so far. The kid I room with got a package from dearelder, so I guess that is still possible. Don't have to if you don't want to... But yeah, it rains everyday without fail. Sometimes hard, other times not so much. I get a lot of mud and such on my pants.. Gay, but whatever. I love the rain! Spanish is coming along obviously. I feel like I’m getting better and better every day. If I just put forth the effort to say something, it usually comes out right. We get to contact at the temples to the members and such on Saturdays. That is always fun. I talked to a guy about Quetz. He said it gets below 0° C there. Sketch... Excited though. The Latinos in the MTC with me are awesome. I've become good friends with Elders Vasquez and Velasquez. One is from Mexico and the other is from El Salvador. So cool. I've decided I think that I want to be a Doctor. Not really sure why, but it looks promising maybe. Send me some sheet music please. I actually can play the piano a lot...  I like hymn arrangements so get on that please. They don't have Air Conditioning here. It's like the windows in Hawaii if you remember my pics. Sucky ventilation.... A kid that is here has a brother that just moved to AZ for Midwestern. Elder Keplinger. Did you recently get a new family in named Keplinger? He is Ryan’s companion too so let me know if they are in our ward. All is well here though. We just got a new kid in our district last night, so we are up to 13 now.... Plenty of space in the small church though...... Well I love you all. Hope the baby is born on Sept 11 still!!!! Good luck with that Rachel and Bobby :) Again, I love you all... Don’t care who you are, I love you. a lot.... BE HAPPY. Always....... Well peace out loves. Love, Elder Bitner (Soldier of God!)