Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Email 20 June 2011

Elder Bitner''s home (top/orange)
To All That May Care,
Hi. To start off, HAPPY FATHER'S DAY DAD! Sounds like it was a pretty uneventful one, but those are nice I guess sometimes. Hopefully you were able to enjoy yourself though. Hopefully everyone else was able to as well. Anyway, how is everybody??? That’s good. Well, this week has been a fun one. Nothing too much has happened though. Just saw new things and such. Hopefully things are better back home though. With Tyler's death and everyone. Hopefully everyone is starting to rid themselves of some of that sadness. Remember, there is light in every storm. Well, moving to the events of my week...
We shall start with Tuesday. As I mentioned last week, we now go to Huehue for our District meetings. This week's was good... We take our clothes down there now to get them washed. It is good and bad. Good because the lady does a good job. Bad because we have to carry it around with us in whatever it is we do after District Meeting. Gets old after about 50 feet of walking. Something I’ll have to get used to now. For a while at least...
At the meeting, we were asked by our Zone Leader to get a bunk bed frame out of the Missionary's room in the church in Colo for the Elders in Ixta. We went and got it that same day. The thing was covered in spider webs. It was tied together with metal wire. It was just a pain. After having quite a few spiders crawl out onto us, we got it out the door and to our house. The Zonies came to our house on Thursday and took it to the Elders.
We went to Huehue Thursday afternoon to stay the night there because we were supposed to have a conference Friday and Xela. When we got to Huehue though, they found out it was cancelled. We actually almost didn’t even get to go... haha. Rain started pouring down right when we went out to try and find a truck. It was crazy... The street was covered by at least 4 inches of water in just minutes. I was amazed. It was beautiful haha. Bergie and I went to Don Juans though once we got there with the two from Ixta.
When we got back from Huehue, I found my Book of Mormon on the ground. Guess I forgot it. It was sitting in a huge pile of water! The rainstorm had put so much rain on our roof, that it began to leak into our house... Just happened to hit right next to where my Spanish scriptures were. They are quite wet and ruined now. Still kind of can use them. The pages are just pretty messed up. I’m going to try and order a new one or something though. We shall see I guess... It has been raining a lot more though. It is crazy.
On Wednesday Bergie and I hiked up to the letters on the mountain that say Colotenango. Took a while to get there because it was in the middle of nothing. No path. We were doing it old school style haha. I actually didn’t even make it all the way to the letters because I got stuck at a cliff area. If I would have tried to get down it I would have for sure slipped and fell a little ways down the hillside. It was really cool up there. A perfect view of all of Colo, and when in the shady parts, it felt great. I was really happy during that short time period. It was awesome.
On Thursday we took a little trip with a friend of ours here and a less active. We went to a little "laguna", which is basically like a pond haha. It was really cool there. They had canoes you could rent to go out on, but we didn’t do that haha. Would have been bad if we fell in. They had a monkey there. That was weird... It was just a pretty little place, so it made it worth the trip. Our friend who drove us, Diego, took us out to lunch too. We had "caldo de pata" at some little place... Caldo de pata is a soup that has the meat and other things from the shin of an ox. It was....disgusting. The worst thing I have had in the mission by far. Liver is close, but eating the shin of an ox is just plain weird. It smelt like pure slaughter. Took me back to the time where I watched the cow die. Smelt the exact same way haha. He also bought this thing for him that is call serviche. It has all sorts of stuff in it... Tomatoes... Onions... Shrimp.... Crab.... Octopus... Clam... Lime.... Sounds really weird, right? I tried it though. Had a piece of shrimp, crab, and octopus. Strangely enough, the octopus was my favorite haha. Tasted really good. It was a fun trip overall. Being in a normal car was really fun. Helped us grow closer to Diego too, so that was neat.
On Thursday I woke up at 5am to a ton of noise outside. Looked out the window to about a 1000 corte women waiting outside of the gym there. Turned out there was some organization giving out money to everyone for each member they had in their family. 100 Quetz a person I think. Couldn’t receive more than 600 Quetz though. It was pure chaos all day. It was the exact same thing Friday too. On Thursday though, we came up with an idea. The streets were lined with people right? haha. We took 75 pamphlets and wrote our names and number on them and then went out there and handed each one out. Didn’t get very far down the line, but it was really cool haha. We went back to our house and just looked out our window. Saw people actually trying to read it and others flipping through looking at the pictures. It felt good. Not one was left on the ground. They all took them! We both thought it was a fun thing to do haha. Some people wouldn’t take them until they saw someone else take one. Followers...
On Saturday, I spent quite a bit of time trying to help a guy set up wireless internet. Couldn’t figure it out. He speaks English and everything though, so we were actually able to communicate the problems and such. Still couldn’t figure it out though. He bought a CNet CWR-935m thing. Didn’t work for me though. It would be a lot better if you were here Dad haha. I definitely don’t have your talents. I just miss photoshop on the computer. That is all I’m good at really haha.
We work with everyone. Nobody progresses though. The inactives won’t go back because of other people that go. Investigators don’t progress because they just can’t stop smoking and drinking. The only ones that have hope are the ones that members tell us about. No one has given us anyone though, so it makes it difficult. We teach, but the people don’t even understand us.
Everything is good though. Didn’t go to all of church yesterday because Bergie was sick from stuff Diego gave us Saturday night when we shot some baskets with him. It rained quite a bit too though, so it was a good day to be sick. Pretty simple Sunday. I love you all though! Have great weeks and be happy :) Hang in there guys. Miss you :)
Love with every cherry in the world on top,
David B :) aka Elder Beautiful

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Email 13 June 2011

Note from Mom - There are two posts again due to the loss of Tyler in our family please be sure to read June 6th first.  Sorry! 
Beloved Family and Friends...
This has been the saddest P-Day of my mission thus far by far. I cannot believe what happened this past week. It is so hard for me to picture...As well as understand. It is a complete shock to me. I loved Tyler. I was able to do quite a few things with him. The most memorable was our day together in Vegas. Being asked by a Chinese cab driver if we wanted a free ride to a strip club... Being chased down by the black guy because I walked off with his CD. The two girls at the pool... We had a lot of good times, and I always will miss him. He was an amazing kid... My heart goes out to all that were affected by his loss. He will always be remembered. No doubt about it...
Well, I guess I’ll continue with the events in my life this past week...
First off, I got another story about a drunken guy... On the way home this past Monday on the bus, I was yet again talked to by a drunk. He sat next to Larson, but after he pretended to fall asleep he was left to me... We stopped at this one place and a bunch of people got off and a bunch more got on. I had an empty seat next to me when the people were getting on, so this man took it upon himself to yell out in Mam to all the girls that there was an open seat next to the "gringo" haha. One girl did end up sitting next to me thanks to him. The entire time he proceeded to try and get me to talk and flirt with her with small Mam phrases he was teaching me. I refused though because I could not stop laughing. He was absolutely crazy, but it was another good moment to laugh at haha. I actually dealt with quite a few drunk on Market Day... We had one follow us for a good while. Wouldn’t leave us alone. We came across a friend of ours though, that told him to go away and clean his shoes. Having friends that speak English and Mam comes in handy a lot... haha. My advice to everyone just is to not drink. Simple as that...
As we all know, I went through changes this last week. Gropp went home and is enjoying life as a normal human, and I’m still here in Colo. Surprise surprise.... I’m okay with it though because my new companion is Elder Bergeson, who was one of the Elders in Ical, and my best friend from the CCM haha, and we are in charge of both Colo and Ical. More area, which means more possibilities :). I have gotten extremely lucky with my last 3 companions... Shaw to Gropp, and now Bergie :) It is nice. Bergesone is from Houston, so I actually know about some of the things he talks about. Pretty cool. His dad is a chiropractor there. Does quite well for himself...And by that I mean he drives a Dodge Viper SRT10. Berg said when I come visit him after the mission I can drive it, so book my plane ticket now haha. Anyways, Bergeson's old comp is now rotting away in Xela with the assistants until he goes home next week. But yeah, life is good for me. I’m going to enjoy this change just like the 3 before.
With the changes came new things to the Zone... There are actually a lot of people from my group in our Zone now. To be specific, there are 7 of us. It is pretty cool. We are no longer our own District up here in Colo. Bergseson was the District Leader, but we got switched Saturday so we wouldn’t be just a 4 person district. We are part of the one down in Huehue again, which means we have 14 people in our District. That is a rather large District... haha. We got a new Zone Leader, Elder Becerra, who was in my District back in Cerrito. He has almost 2 months less time than me, so that is something different to experience. He is the first person to be a leader over me that had less time. I definitely don’t mind though haha. I’m perfectly fine with being a normal missionary my whole time out here. Pray for that. I don’t like responsibility out here. Too many whiners.
Bergeson and I have been working well together though. Didn’t shock either of us haha. A lot of the time we don’t really know what to do, so we just walk down this really big street handing out pamphlets and talking to those that speak Spanish. Then we come to a bridge. We stop and have a boat race, and by that I mean we take empty bottles and drop them off the bridge into the river and race them to a certain point. I have yet to win... Mine always sinks. Not sure why that is... Then we come up the same road, which is quite steep at parts....doing the exact same thing! Fun? Yes... Productive? Probably not, but that is about all we can do until we get a reference. Got to love the life as a missionary in such a random place!
That has basically been my week in a nut shell though. Not too bad... but not too great. I still can’t believe what happened with Tyler. Can’t get it off my mind in fact. It is sooo sad to me. I shook as I read Rachel's email. It honestly just is a terrible thing that we are all unfortunate to deal with. Hang in there everyone... I love you all and miss you all so very much. You guys mean so much to me. Keep smiling and keep moving down the path of life... Even if it smacks us right in the face.
Love always,
David, otherwise known as Elder Bitner

Email 6 June 2011


Hello all my favorite people that actually open this up and read this novel of my mission,
Sorry this has come later today. We went down to Quetzaltenango this morning so Gropp could try to find a few things before he heads out. We ate Taco Bell for lunch, which was nice, and we visited the new Walmart there. It has all sorts of things from the states. Pretty awesome. Also ran to Hermano Cuque there, my favorite person here haha. He was in town for an EFY conference or something. It was awesome seeing him. He ate lunch with us and shopped with us. It was great :)
Things are going quite well for me still. Hopefully they are with all of you as well. The happiness on my part might change this week however. Another change is over, which means a new one is starting... Gropp goes back to Idaho in just 3 days now, while I stay behind and receive another companion and perhaps a new area. We can only hope it is a cool companion. Gropp thought I was going to get the wonderful opportunity to train (something I don’t want to do), but we have come to find out that only one 'Sister' will be coming in this change, and unless something very dramatic changes the rules, I will not be training her... haha. I’m pretty scared for these changes to be completely honest. Mainly just because I know I’m getting a new companion, just not who it will be! Worries me...
This week has been good though. Not much has happened with me still... We were supposed to have a conference on Tuesday with President here in Huehue, but he didn’t show like normal haha. Instead we listened to the assistants for a while talk about whatever they felt like. It We did finally receive pouch. I got the talk mom sent me (thanks for that mom) and 2 letters from friends. Not too bad :) They gave us McDonalds for lunch, but we were all pretty disgusted by it, so after we went to our favorite little place to get those delicious crepes. There were 8 of us there. Quite a site for those little Latin’s here.
On a more random note, I got my haircut. It had been quite a while to be honest. My hair was getting pretty longish. Now, it is rather normal. Had the lady cut it with just scissors, so it was more American like haha. Still not perfect though. Had to get some touch-ups from an Elder. Moving on though...
Went on divisions for a while this week with my good pal Bergeson. We went up to Ical in the morning to visit a family of investigators that I actually started teaching with Shaw, so it was kind of cool for me. The dad wasn’t there though, so we waited for a while. And in Ical...waiting means food, which is never a good thing. She started by bringing us a cup of water, which we did not know if it was for drinking or the washing of hands, so we did both even if it did have many, and I mean many, gross little thingies floating around in there haha. Lovely, right? Don’t be surprised if I end up at home one day with a parasite. The chances are a lot higher than I originally expected coming to this country. After the water though, out came the beans... The grossest looking and tasting beans I have ever seen/tasted in my life... They were so gross in fact, that Bergeson paid me 40 Quetz, or 5 Dollars, to eat his haha. Not much later, another cup of water was brought our way, but this time it was green! However, there was no delicious flavor like there should have been... Instead more things on the disgusting side because it too was filled with endless little floaties. After that little shin-dig we went back to Colo to get some lunch that would hopefully get rid of the awfulness already inside of us. Guess that isn’t what God wanted because we were served rice with liver. Now liver, is honestly the grossest thing I have ever eaten. Pure vomit. Sounds good, yeah? I have had that 3 times now in Colo, and it only is beginning to taste worst. That is expected though... Now although I ate all this, I did not get sick. I have no idea how I didn’t, but I’m eternally grateful for my health haha. It was very hot outside that day, so I just don’t understand how I didn’t die. Lucky me!
As part of Gropp's final full week in the mission, we partook in some celebrating... That being me buying 2 new soccer jerseys haha. A Manchester United one and a France one. Pretty cool ones ;) I bought them in the Mesilla, which is the border of Mexico. Gropp wanted to go up there because he spent a good 5 months out there. We went and had lunch. He got his haircut. I bought my jerseys... It was great! On Saturday, we went down to Huehue to see one of his investigators from his last area get baptized. That was pretty cool, especially since both Elders there are our good friends. It was a nice service though. I’m sad we weren’t able to get a baptism this change, but I guess that is just part of the difficulties of being in a hard area. Just got to keep going I guess... I’m sad he is going though. This has been the funniest change of my mission. He really understands how to find enjoyment here, which is something I am lucky to have taken from him.
My week was good though as you might have noticed. Like I said, not too much happened, but it was still nice. It continues to rain, and I love still love it! Might have to pull out the sweaters and rain jacket soon. Pretty excited haha. Can’t think of anything else. It is fun though still! Hang in there. Love you guys :) Miss you all as well.