Monday, February 28, 2011

Email 28 February 2011

¡Familia y amigos!
7 months today :)
How are all of you lovely peoples? Good I hope... haha. As you can imagine, I’m experiencing a lot of new, different things in my new area. It is crazy... This week was a good one though, so no worries there :)
First off, I’ll tell you about what Shaw (my comp) and I do every Monday... We have to come to Huehue to spend our P-day with our district, so we travel what should be an hour in the morning to get here. However, today.... We got here in 35 minutes. Our driver was insane. It was awesome though... We like taking trucks in the morning to get here because it is faster. We sit or stand in the back of them as they reach a high speed of approximately 70. It is awesome.... haha. To get home, we time just right to take a bus back at 6. We sit on different seats to see who sits next to us. At 6, all the kids that were in school are riding back... Usually, Shaw has an old man sit next to him, and I have a semi-attractive Latina next to me. It is a funny game to play for us.
We had a Zone meeting this last week... There we found out that out of all our time, we only spend 6 months of the 2 years actually working. Kind of a crazy thought... With all the traveling I’m doing right now to get places, mine is even less!
In my area, we came across a sketchy wood bridge.... We crossed it. It was over a big river too. My new area is way more legit in the whole jungle/mountainous area department. High five for that haha. I actually visited a lot of my area for the first time this last week... It is freaking huge. It’s awesome....
So, the most interesting day was Saturday... The area north of us was closed and the Elders were taken out due to some "bad things", so we are now the farthest missionaries. Pretty cool :) Anyways though.... Those Elders were supposedly going to have a baptism, so our Zonies had to go up there after they left to have it. They went without clothes though, so that is when Shaw and I came into play. We had to take them baptismal clothes Saturday morning so that could have the baptism Sunday. We waited down on the road for a bus to take us to a city called Camoja, but a member from Huehue drove by and decided to drive us all the way there, which was about an hour and a half drive. Close to that at least... We got to Camoja and then found our Zonies. Instead of just giving them the clothes and going home though, we hung out there for a while. The Zone Leaders and us took a 10 minute "microbus" ride (we stood on the back bumper I might add, the whole time) to a place called the Mesilla, which is the border of Mexico. We got there and saw all kinds of things... A Hummer, which happened to be a H1 :) Drug Lords that could speak English to us and had fancy cars... Lots of Pesos.... It was crazy! At one point, I stood just three minutes from the border. I wanted to cross it so bad, but I held back and stayed in my mission "boundaries" haha. We had lunch there and went tie shopping... I bought 3 ties, two of them being Valentino :) It was great haha. Then we went back to Camoja and headed back for Colo. However, we did not by bus or car or truck....But by foot! We walked for 4 and a half hours..... 35,758 Steps...... 18.6 Miles..... It was far, and we didn’t even make it all the way to Colo. We ended up in a place called San Pedro Necta. From there we taught a family a lesson and then the dad offered to drive us back for just the price of gas, so we paid him 50 Quetz and got home around 8 o’clock. We burned 1,187 calories and 80.3 grams of fat. It was a healthy day, but because of it we could not walk the next day. Both of our legs were bad. It was worth it in our minds though... It’s not every day you get to walk 18.6 miles after all! haha.
Well, that was my week for the most part. We have a very positive investigator that has a date to get baptized this Saturday at 3 o’clock our time. That should go through, so yay :) Two things I would like to have....
Anyways, I hope all is well with everyone... I miss you and hope everything works out well for all of you! Bobby.... Be careful when you play church ball. Breaking legs should not happen in such conditions. Won’t lie though, might have been funny to watch ;) haha. Love you guys!
With much of my little, beating heart,
Elder David Bitner :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Email 21 February 2011

Colotenango, Guatemala
Hello all :)
As it seems you guys have found out.... I was transferred this past week. I got a phone call Monday night saying that I had changes the next day after Conference. They did combine my area with La Viña like I proposed to President, but I did not stay like I thought I would. My good friend here, Elder Shaw from Ogden, had an interview the Friday before and asked if I could be his companion because his comp was being changed. President said yes and here I am haha. My new area is called Colotenango, but also consists of an area called Ical and another called Ixtahucán. It is basically 5 large mountains... It is really cool though. It is an hour outside of Huehue, should be on the map, and about 2 hours from Mexico. The weirdest thing about my area is that they don’t speak a whole lot of Spanish... They speak the ancient Lamanite dialect of Mam, so I’m experiencing that for the first time. We are taking lessons on how to speak it from a member though, so maybe we’ll figure it out eventually. It is quite different and quite weird to experience. The church was all in Mam... Minus my testimony and the sacrament prayers we did haha. It is crazy in all honesty... I love it though, especially because Shaw and I are good friends here. We are in the same group. We were in the same room in the CCM. And, he is the one I was friends with on Facebook before, so it is really cool :) We are having a blast together! haha.
Few interesting stories from my new area already... Because it is very mountainous and big, there are a lot of places to go. We were hiking the other day and came across a ravine/canyon thingy. We decided to take it... We had to wedge ourselves with our feet at parts to get past water, but at one point, there was only two options. Climb up and then slide down this very steep dirt hill (what Shaw did), or walk straight through waist deep water, which is what I did.... It was very cold, but I got a really cool picture and video haha so it was worth it in the end!
They also have a market day every Saturday in Colo... It is pretty crazy. Basically, everyone just gets really drunk from this drink called "El Machetero" and pass out all over. They like to stare at us pretty intensely, especially since I have blonde hair. haha. People from Huehue have always told me they are scared of Colo because they like to burn people. They kind of go by their own Government system, so it is pretty sketchy sometimes. Cool experience though! haha.
About the house... It is just a one room building. The shower and toilet are in separate "rooms". You can’t sit on the toilet with the door closed, so we just poop with the door open. Sorry for the mental image, but it is fun ;) haha.
Two kids in my new Zone (still here in Huehue) were robbed at gunpoint last week. Kind of sketchy, but everyone is safe so that is good. President just told them to forget about it? haha. They only gave up 26 Quetz, which is $8.25, but the people asked them each for a $100 because they were both Gringos... Guatemala is pretty sketchy...
Anyways, that was my week. At conference I did get some mail. Mainly just letters. I got some articles from Mom. 2 Letters from Granddaddy. And a letter from a friend. Pretty good week. I’m loving where I am and the new experiences I’m having. It is like being in a different world in Colo. There is only one area further than where I am, so it is really cool. I’m doing my best to learn Mam even though no one knows how to teach it... It is cool though :) Thanks for everything guys! Hang in there and have a good week! I miss you all and love you all as well! :)
Love always,
Elder Bitner who is now suffering with another language haha.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Email 14 February 2011

That is Valentine’s Day here... They celebrate with a lot of sex and seductive sayings in English. Moving on....
First off, I want to start off saying how excited I am about Connor! haha. That is so exciting! I’m mainly just excited because it is Spanish Speaking :) He can join in on the fun now with Ryan and me when we all get home. It is going to be awesome. Even cooler that it is to where Bobby went! I think that is where he went at least. I’m so excited!
Anyways, about what has been going on here... I had the "Support Team" this past week. Well actually, every area in my Zone had them. Not very common. Guess our Zone sucks or something haha. I worked so hard though. It was great. I was with Elder Arteaga. He just got back to the mission. He was sent home for 5 months because he broke his leg going down some huge slide down a hill in Xela haha. That was a funny story to hear about. He and I found 10 new investigators in our day and a half together. Overall, we had 13 "news" for the whole week. Basically, we just dominated . We put 3 dates for baptisms too, but those probably won’t work out because the lady is having an affair with a married man we found out. Maybe we can baptize the kids. haha. One of the kids actually asked us if we wanted to sleep on the ground because he didn’t want us to leave. He wanted us to finish Spiderman with him... Cute kid haha. (Side note... Movies in Spanish suck). We did put a date with Mario for this Saturday actually... I’m really hoping that will work out. He is too ready for it not to, but who knows.
Throughout the week, I completed my 200th day in the mission and my comp completed his year mark. Just a few random facts haha. Same day we played soccer in a little open field with some kids. My comp almost fought with one of them haha. That was funny... I did laugh even though it was bad. We also did a good 5 hours of service... Cutting down plants that look like wheat, but not sure what they are exactly. We found a lot of weird stuff in the midst of all it. Things ranging from a spoon, to a bed, to a lawn mower. Not important though... Let’s just say I’m getting pretty good with a machete! haha.
I had an interesting shower experience again... I had the soap all over me and then the water ran out. Waited about 15 minutes for the water tank to fill up, started again, and then the power went out so it was freezing cold. Waited about 20 minutes for the guy we live with to get home and fix it... And then I was finally able to finish. It was gay. A shower has never gone so long for me I don’t think...
A few funny stories... Found out Elders from the other Zone have been teaching a lady in our area and taking her to church and everything haha. Guess they didn’t/don’t know the area boundaries. We could be getting about 3 baptisms out of that, which is pretty cool. The other morning when we were walking around, we watched a man in orange underwear (speedo style) run out of a house. Turns out he was crazy because a van pulled up about the same time and the guy got out and chased after him. That was really awkward but funny to watch. haha. The other night we had a cool experience with dogs. They were down the street from us barking their little annoying heads off. As we got closer they ran down this other street, but kept watching and barking at us. We pretended to run past the street they were down to make them think we were scared and then stood around the corner. Sure enough, they came bolting down the street after us. My comp was standing there twirling his belt in the air. When they turned the corner and saw him, they started yelping and ran back. We both just started laughing so hard. I thought it was like the funniest thing ever haha. My sense of humor is suffering being here as you can see...
I have been having trouble with my camera lately just to let you know. The lense has decided to be gay and not come out or go in sometimes. Might need a new one eventually, so prepare for that... I also might benefit from getting a new retainer. Mine is getting kind of gross. I don’t know if Hunter still has what my mouth is like. If not, I might have to go to an orthodontist here... Oh, I have decided the Old Testament is very boring. I’m getting sick of reading about sacrifices and the Tabernacle, but Ill push through it because I want to read it at least one time through in my life.
Spiritual thought from a talk I read this week by Elder Bednar (a lot of people here think are names are the same...). He said, "These four words-"Receive the Holy Ghost"- are not a passive pronouncement; rather, they constitute a priesthood injunction- an authoritative admonition to act and not simply to be acted upon." Something cool someone might benefit from. I just like the wording haha. But yeah, that was my week! I love you guys and miss you all very much! Hope this week is great for each of you. Be happy and enjoy life :) haha. Oh, and thanks for the 100 percent cashmere sweater. I officially feel like I am in a boy band. Yay.
Love always,
Elder D. Bitner

Monday, February 7, 2011

Email 7 February 2011

Hello people :)
First off.... HAPPY BIRTHDAY RACHEL!!!! 25 years old... You are freaking old.
So.... Changes have come and gone. I still am in the same area.... And I’m still with the same companion.
I was on Divisions with my Zonie, this past week. They needed help finding where everyone lives and seeing I have a lot of time here, they asked for help. We basically just spent the day trying to find a new house for the Sisters. I now have Sisters in my Zone and District.... First time in the mission one sister, who is going home after this change actually, is from Tyler, Texas. Kind of random... haha. Her name is Hermana Pierce. Bobby’s family probably knows who her family is at least. Throughout the day though, we went to two houses that do not have Elders now... I found some good stuff that they left behind :) Speakers.... Candy.... Macaroni and Cheese.... Toilet Paper.... Gum.... It was like receiving mail! haha.
So something actually cool and exciting happened this week. I witnessed a drive-by! It was great. Just 3 Boom! Boom! Boom’s and a speeding away Mazda 3 being chased by a Hyundai Tucson. It was an exciting rush up my body. Never experienced something like that before. We were at the place it happened like 5 minutes before too, so kind of sketchy. Nobody was hurt though... Happy endings are nice :)
We found 2 new investigators this week. Nothing really positive though. We had an appointment with this one lady... As we were walking to her house, another lady came out of another house and came up to us and told us never to visit or talk to her sister again. Pretty rudely I might add... She happened to be the sister of the lady that we were going to visit. Weird thing is, the lady we were going to visit wanted us to come. We didn’t even know her. She just told a member to have us come because she wanted her kid to get a blessing and her church wouldn’t give him one... Actually, the experience with the sister was the second time we visited. The first time, we got to her door and talked for a few seconds, turned around and had 25 people walking up the hill towards her house. She was like, "Well that is a surprise... My Evangelical Church is coming." We got out of there fast after shaking the hands with their pastor ;)
Had another run in with a drunk this week. He was amazed I was white... He just stared at me and wouldn’t let go of my hand. His English was really good too.... He could say "Goodnight". haha.
Yesterday, I realized a lot about my mission. As I was about to put on my nametag, I just froze and stared at it. I was in complete pondering mode haha. More about that is in my letter though. Won’t put that here... A cool thing at church was that my converts, Margaritas, baby was blessed! Pretty cool to witness. She is on the right path. It is beautiful :) I also got to bless the sacrament. Pretty fun. We had a 130 members and 1 dog attending. haha. Not something you experience in the states.
Had some good Paca find this week... I found another Football jersey. This time for the Miami Dolphins! (Don’t get too excited Granddaddy haha). It is Ricky Williams. I was so happy! It was just 10 Quetz like the other one. The lady at that paca hooks me up :) I went to another Paca as well and got 2 shirts and 3 ties for 8 Quetz (1 Dollar...). One shirt says "Proud American" and has 2 eagles with a flag. The other one... Can’t really say what that one is. haha. The ties are cool though. All my style :)
Well I got mail this week. Got the 2 packages you guys sent for my birthday... I wasn’t about to wait more than a month and half to open them, so I opened them already too. Thanks for everything :) I’m enjoying all my new little supplies and such. It was a good early birthday haha. I also got a letter and a DearElder. Both were from friends, which was nice :) That was it for now though. I have another Conference February 15, so maybe that will bring more stuff into my missionary life? Who knows though. haha.
Life is good. Pretty sad about changes and all, but Ill manage... For now. I got to go to Subway today so I’m happy right now! Yay! haha. Meatball Marinara and Cheetos and Grape Soda and 3 Cookies.... It was cool. haha.
Anyways, I hope all is well! I hope Rachel is having a great birthday and that Connor gets his call soon! Praying he comes here ;) haha. I love you all and miss you all very much! Enjoy life and be happy about whatever stuff you might do.
With love that lasts forever,
Elder Bitner :)