Monday, May 30, 2011

Email 30 May 2011

Scorpion on roof of house
NOTE FROM MOM - Last weeks email is also posted now, finally

Pues, aqui estamos....
How are things with all you??? Can’t really imagine anything but good, so that is what I will assume ;) Things have been going well for me. I have been enjoying myself with everything. The mission is still good in other words haha. My companion goes home in 9 days now... It doesn’t seem fair. I honestly feel like this may never end... I know it is bound to though, unless I die in some crazy thing in 2012. People here are going to go absolutely crazy by the way. Time for the week's events.
To be quite honest, not much has happened to write home about. Things are going pretty slow right now. That is alright I guess though. Can’t get upset about it now can you? haha. So something kind of cool this week was that we got a ride from cops down to Huehue. They asked us if we needed a ride, so we said yes! haha.
Another weird thing was that I became friends with a Drug Lord. That was cool. He bought us Pizza and Gatorades. Just a lot of fun haha. He likes us a lot. I guess it is a guy that my companion used to teach like a year ago. Now he is into the business of his family. Good for him... haha. Speaking of Drug Lords though, turns out there have been a lot of problems with them as of late. There have been a lot of killings this past week. A lot in Huehue, but some up north towards me too. As the members say it, things are "peligroso", or dangerous. We have been fine though. We are actually friends with them, so I don’t think we have much to worry about haha. Life is crazy here...
At our District Meeting this week we had one of our Zone Leaders come. He had interviews with us in companionships. Towards the end of the thing he asked if there was anything wrong between us. Gropp was like, "Yes! Bitner is gay..." My Zonie was like, "That is a problem." Then I was like, "Yeah, I’ve been meaning to talk to someone about it. Just haven’t gotten around to it." And for a second our Zone Leader though we were serious. It was a funny little experience haha. You really have to appreciate the little things like that in the mission that make times fun.
So there has been a lot of rain as of late. Some of the hardest storms I have seen. It gets crazy. It hasn’t even really hit the rainy season! It is still pre-rain season. I’m so excited for it... I’m going to get soaked like everyday I’m sure. Sound like a blast? I think so.
On Saturday, we were supposed to go teach the one kid that I have told you about. His name is Mynor... He ended up not being able to at the last minute though. He had to work I guess. He didn’t show up to church... The bishop and first counselor said they are going to try and talk to him and stuff though, so that is good. Finally getting some help!
Because the thing with Mynor fell through, we had an investigator, Diego, one of our best friends here, invite us over to watch the championship soccer game between Manchester United and Barcelona. Gropp's and Diego's team is Barcelona and mine is Machester, so it was a lot of fun for us. I actually bet a kid in a Colo a Gatorade that Manchester would win... haha. But, they lost of course. They always got to fail me in the most important times... I’m playing the kid I bet though tonight in soccer. The gringos and one Latino missionary vs. the Latinos from where we eat lunch. We won last time, so we should win again. I’m excited haha.
The other night Gropp burned some of his clothes... He really is going home. It is kind of crazy. He has 9 days left today. Wow.
At church yesterday I gave a talk. They told me right before they announced it. They were going to have Gropp do it, but he did it last time, so he made me do it haha. Had to make it up on the spot. It was not the most fun thing in the world...
Also, yesterday I fed a parrot a peanut with my mouth. That was something new for me. Held it between my teeth and it took it right out.
Last night something really weird happened. There were some screams so we went on the roof. Just saw people gathered together. We went down to ask what was going on. I guess a guy was going to kill himself, but then a guy took a machete and sliced him or something to keep him from doing it. Supposedly he was very bloody and such. They had already taken him to the "hospital" above our house by the time we got there. It was just one of those weird things. Plus, on the way to Huehue this morning, we saw the results of a head on collision between two trucks (yes, the kind I ride in). Didn’t look like anyone died because there was no blood, but the trucks were very badly damaged. It was kind of neat in a weird kind of way haha.
That is about it for my week. Pretty normal week I suppose. Hope all is well back home! Enjoy your Memorial Day :) I love you all and miss you all!
David! aka Elder Bitner

Email 24 May 2011

Gropp and me this morning at one of our favorite restaurants here. Place called Don Juans. Crepes with Strawberries and Nutella covered in Maple Syrup. Mmm mmm mmm....Good.

Hey there people,
Sounds like everyone is partying without me there in Texas... Not quite fair to be honest haha. Whatever I guess... I’ll tell you about my week that was not spent with family in Houston ;)
All started with Monday night... We got together with some less actives (the family that cooks our lunches) and went to Ixta to play soccer on a little field. It was Gropp, Bergeson (from Houston), Larson, Ruiz (Elder in Ixta), and me vs. 6 Latinos. Guess who won even with all the trash talking and such... We did! Dominated in fact. We took advantage of our height haha. It was probably the most fun game of soccer I have played in the mission though. We are doing it again some night this week. I’m excited :)
On Tuesday, Bergeson and I were companions for the day. Our comps went down to Xela to try and order some new pants for when they go home, which by the way, I might want to get some pants too. Probably not though. Just a thought. Being the nice comps that they are though, they brought us back some Taco Bell. Even though it was cold, we still enjoyed it quite a bit haha. I miss Taco Bell so much. I went there a lot back at home...
One day this week, I spent a good portion of the day cleaning the house. It looked really nice for a few hours... It got bad though again. I hate how that happens haha. I like clean things. I’ve become somewhat of a perfectionist being here. Okay, maybe not quite that bad yet, but I’m headed there haha. The house looks a lot better than it did with Shaw though. We moved a bunch of things around and now the whole layout just flows. I’m trying to be like the guys from Design Star haha.
It has been raining pretty well in the afternoons though lately. I’m enjoying it quite a bit to be honest. It pours ridiculously hard here sometimes and it is just straight awesome! haha. Supposedly it gets a lot worst, but we'll see just how true that is...
Well, President came to Huehue last Thursday. We had a Conference and interviews. We were supposed to play, but at the last second President received revelation that we shouldn’t play. Can’t argue about that too much I guess. My interview with him went well. It lasted a whole 20 seconds, so I got a heck of a lot out of it haha. It was a pretty pointless interview. He just asked if my parents were doing well, and told me to learn all that I can from Gropp. It was a fun day though. We were the first interviewed because we are the farthest away, so we were able to leave rather early. That was nice.
One thing I have come to realize about the dialect speakers is that their Spanish is just absolutely horrible. For example, everyone here calls us "canche", which basically just means white boy. The dialect people call us "canchos", which doesn’t have true significance. To say "I know" in correct Spanish would be "yo se", but in Colo they say "yo sabo". It just one of those things that makes you feel really good about your Spanish. It is a good self-esteem booster. That is... until they start speaking in Mam again.
Yesterday was Conference... We had church from 2 in the afternoon until 5. I don’t know why it isn’t 2 hours just like the States. Got some nice announcements though. As dad has already figured out, the dedication to the temple in Xela will be December 11. Also heard more about the reconstruction of the chapel in Colo. Starting in 60 or 90 days, they are going to tear down the church and build a new one. A two story church that will have an elevator, which will be a huge deal here. They have never seen such technology I’m sure haha. It sounds like it is going to be a really nice church though. I won’t be here to see it finished, and for that I’m kind of sad. I might get to see it destroyed though! How cool would that be?
That was my week though. A few run-ins with drunks, but that is normal. These ones were touching me... It got kind of creepy, but I kept my cool. Today is my 300th day in the mission. High five for that haha. Anyways, that is about it! Hang in there guys. Love you all and miss you! Congrats on graduating Med School Derek. That is kind of big deal in this world Doctor.
Elder Bitner
Clothes area. Gropps on left, mine on right
Stairs to roof, work out space with random red table, and shower entrance

Beds! Very nice mattresses..... Not
Study area, Kitchen, Toilet
Colotenango at night from our roof. What I was looking at when I called on Mothers Day.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Email 16 May 2011

Hello all.
Pues, this week went by rather fast. It is weird how that all works... It honestly seems that each week gets faster and faster. Kind of crazy. I’m perfectly fine with it though.
Alright... As for the week - We finally got phones, so I’m no longer without communication. Now people are always on our tail trying to push us. They brought them to our District Meeting on Wednesday. It was kind of funny because it was just me and my comp and the Elders from Ical. It is my favorite District of the mission thus far. We enjoy ourselves.
So one day this week, things for our day kind fell through for Gropp and me. We decided to just go to Ical and see if we could help there. We ended up staying the night there, which was a lot of fun. The branch was having seminary at the building, so there were quite a few people there. We played basketball and soccer with them. Gringos vs. Latinos. We completely owned so it was cool :) They were shocked that we could actually play soccer haha. The weird thing about playing was that there were bugs all over the court. And I mean all over.... You could barely see cement. The bottoms of each of our shoes were just filled with bug guts and such. It was gross... After everyone left, it began to rain so we went inside. Went out a little later to feel the fresh air, when we saw a bunch of frogs. Like 6 just hopping around the outside walls of the church. We began to play with them haha. It was kind of cool. Sleeping was hard because all the bugs kept getting inside the church and all over us. It was nasty...
Another day this week, we set up a basketball game with a couple of investigators. The Elders from Ical came down, so it was the four of us and one less active. It was a close game... Not really. We basically dominated. The people in Colo love us though. We got somewhat of a crowd too haha.
On Saturday, we went to visit this kid that showed up to church last week. He lived pretty far out there... The first counselor of the Bishopric accompanied us. We ended up finding 10 new investigators there. Maybe 3 will progress though... The kid's mom is in the states right now, so his aunt is kind of ruling his life. She just argued with us in Mam the entire time, which neither of us understood. We just understood what the counselor would translate for us. We left there pretty annoyed. Moving on though...
Once we got back, we ran into the Ical Elders. They were going to go to Ixta to get some money... We decided to go with them. I ended up having to pull out some money from my account for Bergeson because he couldn’t remember his pin number haha. That explains why some money was taken out. He bought us all ice cream with it though, so it was nice :) On the way back things got sketchy... This was probably the most scary part of my mission thus far. We were coming into Colo, when we came to a stop because two drunk guys decided to park their trucks side by side in middle of the road, each facing the other way. They were each living in their own little worlds, so they kind of ignored all the angry people around them. Honking started. Yelling started. It was a mess. One of the guys started yelling at us in English, so we began telling him to move... He finally did. The one left and then one yelling at us turned around and followed. Before he started driving away he began cussing at us... Very vulgar things. Gropp got a tad bit frustrated and through an empty bottle he was holding at the truck as it drove away... The guy turned down another street as we continued straight. He picked up two friends and reversed very fast, hitting a house rather hard, but because the houses are cinderblock, only his truck received damage. He then pushed the pedal to the floor and chased after us. We were lucky because we had a couple cars in between us now. We hopped out of the truck we were in and just completely booked it for our house. Ran sooo fast. It was scary to be quite honest. My heart was racing as well as the hearts of the others. It was awesome though haha. We were pretty thrilled it happened, once it was said and done haha.
Anyways, that was my week basically. Pretty simple and easy. Got some missionary work done of course. No dates for baptisms yet, but hopefully we see something good soon. I love you all so very much! Enjoy your weeks :) Miss you guys.
Elder D Bitner

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Email 10 May 2011

Hey everybody :)
Well, I talked to my family Sunday as many people might have assumed, so this email will be rather short most likely. Not much to say! Shame shame, right?
Anyways, I spent the first few days of this week feeling poorly. I had some problems digestively... Very typical in Guatemala, but I hate getting sick. It was all good though. Part of being in a different country I suppose.
I visited a new part of Guatemala. A little city named Cuilco. We decided we wanted to see what was out there so we went for it. It is a little city that you can only get to through Ixtahuacan. It was a fun adventure though. Minus the fact that I got very badly sunburned because of all the truck riding. My nose is pretty messed up right now haha.
For Mothers Day, I spent the morning at church and the afternoon talking with family, which I enjoyed very much - 2 more times of calling home and then I’ll be home. Guess you could say I’m kind of half way through because of that. For my Mother’s Day dinner, I ate Tuna mixed with Mayo and Crackers. Definitely not something I would even attempt to eat before the mission, so high five for that! I decided Tuna isn’t that bad... But it still tastes quite nasty. Not something one can eat a lot of.
As some might have realized, they switched P-day on me this week... Not really sure why, but whatever. Yesterday, they told us we weren’t allowed to leave the house until 12. Found out that was just because some of the Office Elders were coming to pay us a visit. They showed up to our house and I was just like wow. You have got to be kidding...
Anyways, that was my week. Hope everything continues to go well with everyone! Again, it was nice to talk to you all. Especially you mom! Again, Happy Mother’s Day :) Hang in there guys. Have great weeks!
With much much love,
Elder David Bitner

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Email 2 May 2011

Elder Bitner & Elder Gropp
Mis amados hermanos mios,
First off, I look forward to calling Sunday. Still not entirely sure on those details... No one has said anything about it and we don’t have a phone to communicate with people, so it will probably be like Christmas... I’ll call you guys Saturday night probably to set up a time and everything. We shall see I guess.
Anyways, changes have occurred...... It was a weird situation. We waited in the house to get the phone call. Once we did, we found out that Shaw had changes and I didn’t. He packed all of his stuff up and then us and the Elders from Ical traveled to Huehue because we were having a "Change Conference" the next day. As soon as we made it to the Zonie's house, I got a phone call saying I had changes... I began to trip. I didn’t know what to do because we were already in Huehue and it was getting late. I sent a couple texts to our assigned assistant and President, and after about 10 minutes they called and said I know longer had changes. What a relief that was... I was not at all excited when I got that call. I was upset more than anything. But we got it back to normal :) So chilled in Huehue that night walking around the "downtown" and such... The next morning when we went to Xela, I found out all sorts of things... My Zone Leader, well Ex-Zone Leader.... and Shaw's trainer, is now an assistant haha. That was funny for all of us to see because we all predicted that forever ago. Found out Shaw was going to Momostenango, a place he didn’t want to go haha. That my trainer is now a Zone Leader, and that my new companion is Elder Gropp. He goes home in about 5 weeks now... He is definitely excited for that. He is from Boise, but he definitely doesn’t seem like a kid from Idaho. It is a lot of fun :) He is helping a lot. They actually turned my area, Ical, and Ixta into a District. Bergeson is the District Leader now haha. There are two Latinos in Ixta. It is just strange all around now haha. We are enjoying ourselves though!
We actually stayed the night in Ical this last week because we didn’t have water for like 4 days... So we went up there to bathe ourselves in the baptismal font again haha. Slept in the sacrament room with the fans on low speed. It feels soooo good up there. It isn’t very fair that they are there. Our house in Colo gets so hot... And now that the "wet" season is starting, it is so humid. It is all good though.
We are doing our best to work. Things are finally beginning to settle down from Semana Santa, so maybe we will have a little more success now. I hope we can get at least one baptism before Gropp goes home. As long as we put forth the effort, we should be able to do it! But yeah, Gropp's Spanish is really good so that is nice.
We will continue to work as always though! Going to give it our best... Hopefully we will get something good out of this change. I love you all so very much :) I appreciate each and every one of you. Have a great week and SMILE :) Make it a good month.
Bring on the rain.
Love always,
Elder Bitner
Pizza Kit from Christensen's