Monday, March 28, 2011

Email 28 March 2011

Beloved people back home :)
Things are going well here as usual! You guys??? If not good, you better change that... Anyways... This might be a little shorter than normal. Not much time today.
So this week, Shaw and I had some pretty good success. We have been finding a lot of people, which is cool. The only question is if they will progress into one of the "Prioridad 1", as we call them here. We are sure hoping to have baptisms soon!
First off, the McDonald’s trip last week was pretty good :) I just got chicken nuggets and fries and a Sprite and to top it all off, an Oreo McFlury in remembrance of you mom ;) haha. It was good overall. McDonalds definitely isn’t the best Birthday dinner, but I’ll put up with it for now I guess haha.
Back to the families that we have found... One is awesome. They are in Ixtahuacán. Both of the parents are orphans, so the only family they have is each other and their two kids. Pretty unique situation, but very cool people! They invited Shaw and me to spend the night at their other house in Xela if we ever need too haha. They actually know a lot about the church too because the dad has seen quite a few different specials on the BYU channel. And, they fed us dinner. We love them to say the least...
Side note - I saw chickens have sex for the first time.
I had a good couple drunk stories haha. On Saturday, as Market Day was finishing, Shaw and I left to work in Ical. On our walk there, a drunken guy started walking with me and talking to me in "English" (they never actually know English). I taught him just about every lesson possible in a matter of 5 minutes... As he was saying bye, he slipped on a bottle and fell straight on his back hahaha. Shaw and I walked away in complete laughter, while he laid there still saying bye and everything. It was great. Just up the road, we grabbed a truck to go up Ical (didn’t walk it because we didn’t have a lot of time... We were late). We stood on the back bumper as usual ;) (it is safe....ish haha). There were 3 drunks in the bed of the truck. As we went up the mountain they were all trying to talk to me. They don’t talk to Shaw which is really weird and not fair. Every time we hit a bump in the road, they would fall in the back of the truck. They slipped throughout the entire ride up. It was hilarious... haha. As soon as we got to the church in Ical, they were starting Mutual. They asked us a lot of questions about things they didn’t understand in the Bible of what they were studying... One of them was about the word "orgías", or orgies in English. Yeah, didn’t know what to do right there haha. It was hilarious.
Something interesting that happened that neither Shaw, nor I was aware of: 2 earthquakes. Some people told us about them and we were just like--what??? We didn’t feel those haha. They happened Saturday night at like Midnight I guess. They were like 5.3s or something. I was pretty upset I didn’t feel them haha. That would have been awesome.
That was my week... Shaw and I started a Tiky Can collection. We have them stacked to our ceiling. I continue to see Fireflies everywhere. I’m still in love with them...
I hope everything is going well for everyone! I miss you all and love you all soooo very much :) Have a great week everyone...
Con cariño,
Elder D.R. Bitner

Information found from Mom -

Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : 5.9
UTC Time : Sunday, March 27, 2011 at 06:21:01 UTC
Local time at epicenter : Sunday, March 27, 2011 at 12:21:01 AM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 86.8 km
Send an “earthquake experience report” for this earthquake
Geo-location(s) :
49 km (30 miles) S of Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico
98 km (60 miles) WSW of Quetzaltenango, Guatemala
133 km (82 miles) SW of Huehuetenango, Guatemala

Monday, March 21, 2011

Email 21 March 2011

20th Birthday
  ¡Mi familia y mis amigos!
Pues, I’m no longer a "teen" as most might know... haha. I have survived two decades of life and plan on about 10 more ;) Being on the mission for the birthday is definitely weird. To be honest, it didn’t even feel like a different day. It was a good day though :) I woke up and had a nice bowl of ghetto-brand Lucky Charms. That was yummy enough for a breakfast haha. Went to Sacrament in Colo, but then left right after to get to Ical church for Priesthood so we could "plan" for some people they have for us to teach. The planning consisted of a guy saying, "Well, let’s meet Saturday at 3 to go visit them." It was kind of a waste, but I do love Ical church. They are way more mountainous like than Colo. After church, we went to lunch in the usual place in Colo. They gave us fried chicken and french fries, so that was cool. After lunch, went home and wrote a letter home as always... Then we cleaned the house and shined our shoes and then went up to an inactive family's house. We ate lunch at their house on Thursday and my birthday came up... So they invited us over for dinner for it :) It was really nice, especially since they aren’t even "active". We helped them make the food. We had Chuchitos. Don’t really know how to explain them... Maybe Derek can. We also helped make tamales though. It was all fun :) We were there for a good amount of time... I spent some of it trying to touch a very vicious pitbull, but he wouldn’t let me touch him. It was rude haha. I was so close to him and he wanted to bite me so bad... But his chain held him just out of reach haha. I was pretty scared of it. We tried to make these Dessert Bar things from Reeses, but they didn’t turn out too well I don’t think. We just left them and told them to eat it. We had a younger girl from Huehue help us with those. She asked for a picture with me for Facebook haha. Ate 4 Chuchitos with lots of chile :) I was full... I used the plates and napkins that were sent too, so that was pretty cool. haha. Everyone liked them a lot. The girl asked me to get her 4 packages of each for her birthday, which is the 30th. So it wouldn’t have been possible anyways.... Went back to the house where I enjoyed a nice Sparkling Strawberry drink (without alcohol) that I bought. It was good... haha. But yeah, that was my birthday for the most part I think! It was a good one :) Being in the mission didn’t really make a difference. I’m 20! I’m not ready to be a grown up haha.
As for the rest of the week... Last Monday I found a place that sold Dr Pepper! That was awesome... Only could buy one though because they didn’t have a lot. 10 Quetz each. Expensive, but wow so good....
Had an awesome experience for me. Helped me realize what to do here... Made me think a lot about Cole. It is complicated... haha. I explained a little in the letter so you might understand a little bit, but wow it hit me hard.
Went through changes... I didn’t get changed, so yipee! haha. And neither did Shaw. We are very happy.
Alright, well the coolest day was Friday... So much cool stuff happened. No one but the people involved will understand because you would have to know and love Colo, but I’ll try to explain haha. Two other Elders came up to help us with some stuff. Elder Lewis (my Zonie and Shaw's trainer) and then Elder Pigott, who just really badly wanted to see what Colo is. They came up early in the morning and we went to Ixtahuacán to do some "seminary/institute" visits with some guy from Huehue... They were having a Carnival in Ixta, so that was awesome. They had a Ferris Wheel... Little kid basketball tournament... So that was just all a neat way to start out the day. Rode back to Colo standing on the back bumper of a truck again (my favorite!) haha. Before we got to Colo though, we decided to stop at the "slaughter house". We asked the people if we could watch the "death" of a cow. They said sure of course. I’ll just give a little description about that. They tied it with rope. Pulled its head around to face its back and then cut a baseball-sized hole in his throat. Stepped/jumped on it to get all the blood to drain out.... Then they skinned it.... Then took an axe to it pelvic area. Chopped that bone right in half with two good swings. Then they broke each leg, from the knee down, off.... Those two bone parts, were pretty crazy. Just hearing the bones break and snap off. Ewwww it was so cool haha. Then they cut out the esophagus, which looked like a white vacuum tube. Then the stomach and intestines came out (I got a picture of that :) ). Throughout all this cutting and breaking, there was this cute little girl in there. Little pig tails... A cute little pink shirt... White little shorts and flip-flops. She was maybe 5 years old, probably younger. She had a broom, and was sweeping the blood. I was just like, "You have got to be kidding me". It was crazy... We ran through Ical and the Barranka later, just to get a good sunset picture. Those are not small mountains... It was worth it though. Had a "photoshoot" of sorts with these cute little girls in Corte haha. It was just a great day overall haha. I loved it.
Anyways, that was my week. I’m being eaten alive by fleas again. I found out I have gained 10 pounds! Doesn’t look like it... I have grown an inch though I think. Yay :) haha. I bought 2 clip-on ties. I’m going to McDonalds before we go back to Colo for my lovely B-day dinner out haha. Should be fun. Thanks for all the birthday wishes, prayers, etc... Everything is greatly appreciated :) Have a great week! I miss and love you all!!!
Con cariño, Elder David Bitner :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Email 13 March 2011

Ical Mountain; Banana Trees - Jungle in Colo
Hey all :)
Well, this week has been pretty good for me. Hope all of you have enjoyed yours as well! I’m mainly just happy none of you were in Japan. A lot of people told us about the earthquake. They were terrified about it. Now, about the week.
Started with another funny P-Day afternoon story... We were shopping for some stuff so we could have food for dinner and for breakfast because we were staying with the Zonies, when all of the sudden Shaw had a "diarrhea attack". We had to run across the street to a hotel where he paid to use their bathroom. At some point the through process he told me that he needed more toilet paper, so I had to search for some. I ran into a guy that, in English, asked me, "What are you looking for?" I was like what the heck. He ended up giving me more t.p. for Shaw, and then we talked some. He had perfect English for the most part. I was amazed... He has lived in the states 22 years and has a business in Denver. Very random... He was really fun to talk to though. The funniest was Shaw’s bathroom. It had a huge window on the side of it so he could look at the mountain view, and others could look at him! It was cool.
So, Tuesday was a pretty sketchy holiday here in Guatemala. Shaw and I had to travel back to Colo at 6 in the morning to get there before "things" started happening. We had to sit in the house all day...... No leaving for anything. The holiday doesn’t really have a name I don’t think, but it had weird traditions. People would go around with confetti-filled eggs and smash them on each other’s heads. Cool holiday? Some would even carry flour around and throw that at other people. Some even had real eggs. It was just weird. In Colo, basically nothing happened. Just a parade of kids in Costumes walked by our house following a minivan listening to "Eye of the Tiger" haha. In Huehue, I guess things got pretty sketchy but who knows really. Sitting in the house was just really boring... We wanted to kill ourselves.
Well, I got some "gifts" this week haha. An investigator gave Shaw and me each 2 bananas and 5 Quetz... We tried to say no, but they wouldn’t let us say no. Weird. Shaw gave me a V-neck shirt. I’m starting to like them haha. I ate real sugar cane for the first time. Cut it and all. Pretty cool and yummy. It was a generous week from the Guats.
I spent some time with the "Dream Team" this week. They are from the area Ixtahuacán. They just find people to teach and then call us up. They are cool. The people they found didn’t show up to church though... Maybe next week. Another of our areas, Ical, gave us 3 references last night too. They all were at church yesterday. The members actually do stuff and it is suuhhhhweeeeet.
I have developed a new passion here in the mission. Standing on the back bumpers of trucks driving through the mountains on very windy roads with fireflies all around.... It is awesome haha. I love it. The only downfall is when little boys throw very large sticks at you as you drive by. One landed in the truck next to us... Almost got us haha. It was scary.
Some random facts.... Finished the journal that Derek gave me. I’m now using the one I bought in the CCM. I shined all my shoes myself for the first time. I threw a lot of hot dogs over the edge of our house to the dogs last night... People didn’t really like that, but I was just trying to be nice haha.
Well, that was my week. No scheduled baptisms this week, but maybe something cool will happen. Changes are this week too though. I doubt I’m getting changed, but you never know... I really hope neither of us does. We are actually getting stuff done, and I’m enjoying myself more than ever on the mission. Anyways, have a good week and be happy:)
Elder Bitner
Shaw's Bathroom Experience

Stick that was thrown at me and Shirt Shaw gave me

Monday, March 7, 2011

Email 7 March 2011

Alfonso Vasquez Vasquez - March 5
Hola mi familia y mis amigos :)
Hope everyone is hanging in there, as they should be... It sounds as if people are okay for the most part minus some sicknesses and broken legs. Cuidense con eso. Su salud es bien importante. Anyways, here is my week.......
All started with last Monday night on my way home to Colo. Was sitting on the bus in the terminal waiting to leave.... When a guy sat across the aisle from me with a cowboy hat and a guitar. Not a good combo for a Latino. He realized that we were both there, so he started talking to me. After a little bit of time, he handed me his guitar and came and sat by me. Yay... haha. He began telling me about how he studied English, even though all he knew was, "I speak English. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 25!" It was....cute? Not. I knew because he had a guitar I was going to hear some sort of music. However, I did not really expect him to sing specifically to me haha. He sang 3 songs for me 2 with his guitar and 1 as he was getting off the bus. All the people on the bus found it very funny.... haha. They were all laughing pretty hard. Especially the teenagers. I ended up giving him the rest of my SevenUp and just talked to him the whole time. It was kind of weird, but it is my favorite drunk story thus far, thanks to a good old local with a guitar. I had lots of experiences with drunks this week actually. Two cried because we wouldn’t go to their house with them haha. One gave Shaw money. Drunks in Guatemala are just a lot of fun.... Especially when they tell you, you are the "best of heaven".
Did some service this week.... Moved more wood than I have ever thought even possible! It was not the normal cut up wood either. It was practically full on trees. The stumps at least. Not the lightest in the world haha. When we finished though, we got some eggs from this really old woman. We were a little scared to eat that stuff...
We made pancakes for some Less Actives. Trying to be nice people! We also found some new investigators... They asked to take pictures with us and they want copies haha. They really were excited to have some whites in their house haha.
Coolest news..... Baptism went through. Alfonso Vasquez Vasquez (weird I know) was baptized the 5th of March. His baptism was up in Ical, which is a very big mountain. We hiked up it with our Zonies in 30 minutes, which was record timing... haha. It is a very tiring hike..... Especially during a fast. Rough. haha. It was a nice baptism though. A guy preparing for a mission did the baptism. Nice opportunity for him. We went back to Ical Sunday for Church.... Hiked that beast of a mountain a lot while fasting. It was like being Moses. Well.... Sort of haha. We had to go up for his confirmation. Guess who ended up doing that... Me! I was terrified, but I pulled it off. It was pretty cool overall. I enjoyed it because it was my first one :) Church in Ical is very weird compared to others.... All the members basically come to charge their phones. At least they come I guess. They all bring their dogs too. Well, they follow them... haha.
That was my week though. Pretty fun I guess. The baptism was nice... Our Zone overall doesn’t have very good "stats", so we aren’t allowed to do anything today really. Shaw and I came down last night because we heard there was going to be protesting along the way today.... Last time Shaw came down during protesting, his 1 hour ride turned into 10 hours. We didn’t want to risk it, so we rode a bus down yesterday and stayed at the Zonies. Well, I hope all is well and everyone continues to hang in there.... Love you all very much! Have an amazing week! :)
Love always,
Elder David B. :)