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.

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