Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Email 25 July 2011

Hey everybody :)
Lots of new things this week haha. Who would have guessed I was going to get changed? I sure didn’t. Having a baptism date and all, I didn’t think it would happen. Sure enough, it did. We got the phone call Monday night. We were told we both had changes... We had to have our stuff in Huehue in the next day, and we were going to be spending the day with our Zone Leaders. They actually closed Colo, so it isn’t even an area now, nobody is working there or anything. The baptism we had scheduled fell through. It has been a rough week on me.
Wednesday we traveled down to Xela early in the morning for our changes. Bergeson is now "stationed" in Xela, while I’m now located in Quiche. I actually am opening an area. It is a called Cunén... It is the furthest area in the mission being about 5 hours away from Xela. It is also the biggest area in the mission. Everything north of Cunén is considered my area, so my area covers basically 1/3 of our mission. You can drive 11 hours north, and still be in my area. It is huge.... We don’t go anywhere else really. Everything 2 hours north and onward is supposedly pure jungle and forest. Gets kind of crazy. My companion is Elder Swapp and is from Vancouver, Washington. He has one change (6 weeks) more than me. He played the flute in Jazz band. We have done one small adventure. As you are entering our area, there is a waterfall in the mountains that you can see. The other day we took an adventure to try and find it. We found it, but only the top. We didn’t figure out how to get to the bottom. It was cool though. We have quite a few waterfalls in our area, so that is something I’m quite excited about. The thing that does suck about the area is its location. In Colo I had to travel an hour every Monday to P-Day... Now it is 2 hours! This morning in fact we were about 20 minutes outside of the main city in Quiche (Santa Cruz) when my comp said he wasn’t feeling good. We had to stop and get out. Found a bathroom and then continued onward haha.
The area is a branch. On Sunday we had an attendance of 28 people... Quite the branch right? haha. They had one speaker, and when he finished they ended Sacrament (about 30 minutes early). Then Sunday school went 80 minutes to try and get back on track, but then we didn’t even have priesthood meeting, so it was just kind of weird. I spent Sacrament and Priesthood hour trying to keep two of the craziest little girls in the world under control haha. I succeeded for the most part. Kids love me here in Guate... Makes me miss Cole a lot.
We live in the church too though, so that makes things kind of weird. Our "room" is about the size of our Den, and the chapel is about the size of the garage. That is the whole church! haha. So small. Pretty nice though. We sleep in bunkbeds. It is actually a nice mattress, so it is nice in that department. However, my pillow is a pillowcase full of towels... Not as nice. I sleep on bottom though. Swapp is the only companion that I have had that is taller than me... I let him have the top so his feet could hang off a little bit. I'll include a picture of our room, so you can understand exactly.
Sunday afternoon there was a car accident in our area. A small little bus fell off the side of a small mountain... It was quite the thing in Cunén. About 5 people died... Everyone else was seriously injured. It was kind of crazy.
Because the branch is so small, we have become good friends with all the members. We were there like 4 days before Sunday. At church, we already knew everyone that showed up! It was funny haha. We even knew more members that didn’t show up. Crazy. We have been fed every night thus far though. Twice by the same family... I don’t think we will get fed every night, but who knows. It has been nice though. Everyone speaks Quiche, but they all speak Spanish too :) It has been really weird to hear Spanish from everyone. I’m having to get used to it again haha.
But yeah, that is what has been going on with me... Life is still good. There are only 12 Elders in all of Quiche. Today we played ultimate Frisbee and dodge ball and then ate at a Chinese restaurant. It was cool haha. My zonies are actually Pence, who was my Zonie back in Huehue, and then King who was in La Viña when I was in Cerrito. :)
I’m surviving though. Loving life as much as I can. We'll see if any baptisms come from being in this place. Missionaries don’t last there very long it sounds like. They just seem to close the area all the time, which I don’t blame them because it is just a really random place. It is fun though :) Hopefully everyone is enjoying life... Hopefully the trip in Utah is good too. Tell everyone hi for me! Miss you all so very much and love you all so very much as well! I hit a year this week. Can you believe it? See you in a year I guess ;) haha. Take care. Smile :) Just least you aren’t where I am haha.
David!-Elder Bitner
Elder Swapp

Monday, July 18, 2011

Email 18 July 2011

Mis Amados Hermanos Mios,
¿Que tal? Guess what, a year ago today, I was giving my farewell talk. Crazy haha. Pues, this week has been a good one I feel like. Technically I guess just about all my weeks have been good ones though... I can’t think back on a week that I didn’t enjoy in the end. Kind of crazy how that works. You would think there would be lots of weeks that I just would hate, but I’ve enjoyed all of them! How? Who knows... Guess what song I heard this week. Allstar by Smashmouth. It was sooo random. Very cool though. I knew every word even though I haven’t heard the song in years haha. Well, about the week.
We'll start off with the baptism. Do get straight to the point, it didn’t happen. The lady went out of town on Monday and was supposed to come back Friday afternoon. She didn’t make it back... She is supposed to come back today, so we'll see what happens. We have an appointment with her tonight, so we can try and explain some things to her even though she doesn’t speak a lot of Spanish... If we can make it happen, we are going to have the baptism tomorrow. Who knows though... I was a pretty sad guy on Friday and Saturday because we weren’t able to have it. Welcome to the life as a missionary though. Things never work out like you want them to at first. Oh well. Have to remain positive.
What else... On Thursday, we were able to have some fun. We went to talk to Diego in the morning, and he invited us to go to Huehue with him to get Dominos. We couldn’t deny that opportunity... haha. We met up with him, and he drove us down there. We got 2 large pizzas and a 1.5 liter thing of Coke for 180 Quetz, which is about....22 dollars. I don’t remember how much pizza costs, so I don’t know how that price compares to the states. Can’t imagine it is too much higher, but I wouldn’t be too surprised I guess if it was. It was a nice little meal though. We got one of Pepperoni and the other was Cinco Carnes (Five Meats), Diego's choice. I love talking to Diego. He talks to us like we are normal humans, not gringos... Not missionaries... Not tourists... He actually considers us as his friends. It is nice :) He wants us to come back to visit him in fact, so he can take us places all over Guatemala. I might just have to take him up on that offer someday after I get home because there are a ton of places that I’m not going to be able to see in my mission. A trip back is definitely necessary... It was fun to drive in a normal car again too. Little 2006 Honda Accord. Sadly when we were driving with him his BRAKE LAMP light came on. Luckily we were able to tell him what that meant though haha.
On Wednesday we went and got our Nachos in Ixta. Since Berg has been sick, all he has wanted to eat has been those nachos and Subway. Basically nothing else makes him feel good. Well actually, he is better now, so we don’t have to worry about the food thing so much now. We are both still picky though because we ate pretty well this week. Monday we got Subway. Tuesday we got Subway (I put honey mustard on my sandwich to see what it was like... disgusting. Don’t recommend it). Wednesday we had Ixta nachos. Thursday pizza with Diego. And then Friday we ate with our cook lady... Put a big damper on our diets haha. It was still pretty good though. Better than what we usually get. Saturday we went and ate Nachos again...(While we were in Ixta we got our shoes shined by these two little kids. I beat boxed and spoke English for them haha. They are my two new buddies in Ixta :) ). Saturday night we ate "chicharines", which are pieces of fried pig skin covered in mayo and ketchup, with an inactive family. That was fun haha. And on Sunday we ate with the cook lady again. Pretty good week foodwise. Dinners sucked for the most part. I usually skip dinner or breakfast every day. It is a fun life haha.
We spent one day cleaning our house really well. Moved just about everything to sweep and such. I even changed my sheets ;) haha. I feel kind of clean now when I sleep! Just kidding. I still feel like fleas are eating me alive. I don’t like it at all. You get used to it though. The other day actually, we gave some clothes away to this kid here. I don’t how old he is to be honest, so maybe he is pretty old and we don’t know it. He has some problems though... If you saw a picture you would understand. Bergeson gave him 2 short-sleeved shirts, and I gave him a pair of shoes and a church sweater. He has worn them every day since haha. Everyone calls him Elder Vasquez or Elder Jacobo now. He has no money and a family that want nothing to do with him, so Diego takes care of him and it is really cool. Anyways, when I was getting the sweater to give to him, I pulled it off the hanger and saw what looked like a white fuzz ball on the sleeve. I felt like it was something more than a fuzz ball though. I brushed it with my finger, and it popped. Out came tons of little baby spiders. They were all not born yet, so luckily they didn’t attack me or anything. It was still a little disturbing... Guatemala has taught me to hate bugs. I was writing in my journal the other night and a spider fell from the ceiling right onto my journal! I miss the states way of living haha.
I met the nephew of the lady that cooks for us this past week. He is 15 and lives and studies in the states in Sacramento. Kid speaks perfect English. It was awesome haha. He looks like he is our age though, so that was a mind bottler, ya know when your thoughts are so crazy in your mind it feels like they are trapped in a bottle? hahaha. Name that movie. I know it isn’t the exact quote, but it is the best I can remember haha. His dad spoke English too for the most part. Same with another guy that was with him. He lived in Tennessee though, so he had a southern accent. That was funny to hear haha. I love finding people that speak English.
I have been taking freezing cold showers for the past week... Not fun.
Well, that was my week basically! We have changes this week, so we shall see what happens I guess. I have a feeling I won’t be going anywhere. I hope that is how it is at least. One of the assistants is my good buddy, so I think he will make it happen. We have a lot of possible baptisms in Ixta supposedly, so I don’t want to leave quite yet. I want to work with them over there and see what we can do to make them grow. Who knows... You’ll find out next week what has happened! haha. If I get changes I’m going to be very mad because I want to see this lady actually get baptized... Praying that I don’t.
I love you all lots! Have great weeks. Life isn’t perfect, but with the Gospel we learn to get over that. Love everyone. Share what you know. You don’t know how good you guys have it. Enjoy your surroundings.
Love the blondest person in Guatemala,
Elder db

PS-I hate everyone that got to see the final Harry Potter.  Haha.
House after rain   

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Email 11 July 2011

How are all of you guys? Hopefully things are going like they usually do. For me, things are good. I’m really starting to get the hang of being in Guatemala. I think it has finally hit me that I’m in another country haha. Guess I just never wanted to really welcome the idea, but here I am and I know it! Being in a different country really helps the language come. I feel like I have gotten a pretty good grasp on the español. I still mess up and get frustrated, but it is improving quite well. Just got to work on all the different words! haha. I had a mess up this last week in fact that was pretty funny. We went to eat nachos in Ixta... The owner was talking with us. He asked us how we were, and I responded, "Bien pero estamos casados." There is a slight mixup there... I wanted to say the word "cansados", which means tired, but instead I said the word "married". I told the man that we were married. Cool right? haha. We fixed that one pretty fast though... Most of my dreams are actually in Spanish now. Blows my mind...
Monday night we celebrated the fourth of July. Bergie and I, along with a few other Elders, bought some fireworks. Went and lit them off at their house. It was awesome... haha. There was one we were a little sketched out about, so we let this old man do it for us. He was crazy with it though! He held it in his hand and just let it fly out of his hand. We all ran while he lit it and he stood there all nice and calm. People here are crazy when it comes to stuff like that.... It was a pretty good July 4th though. We made what we could of it.
Anyways, this past week has been good. When has one of my weeks not been good? haha. I’m way too positive out here. I did finally get to meet the new President. I was really worried to meet him at first because we found out one of our friends here was going home. We were thinking the guy was very strict, but it turned out to be the kid's choice. We had a conference with the new President on Tuesday. He turns out to be a very nice guy! I actually like him a lot so far haha. One thing we all had mistaken... We all thought his Spanish was going to be perfect... It sure isn’t even close really haha. He only learned it back when he was on his mission in Paraguay. Now he is trying to remember it. He knows some, but it just isn’t good haha. It is actually very funny to listen too because we can’t understand it the way he says it. He has lost any accent he might have had, and now he is trying to regain it all back. So yeah, he can speak a little bit, but that is it. His wife speaks absolutely nothing haha. One of the Sister missionaries translated for her.
On Wednesday, President Bautista actually came up here to Huehue to have interviews with each of us. They were only 10 minute interviews, but they were nice. I was one of the first to go since we live the furthest away, so we had no idea what was going to happen in it haha. Did it though, and it was great! Speaking in English just makes everything so much better. In the interview, we just talked about my mission thus far, my family, where I’m from, etc... He actually said that he just drove through Glendale recently. He went to some Mitsubishi Dealership. Pretty random... haha. He asked us to share with him one of our favorite scriptures we had recently. I shared D&C 101:36-37. Like it a lot... He is a very nice guy though. I like him a lot! Things seem like they are going to be quite fun still. He is pretty strict, but that is normal. I’m really excited to have him as my President. I have a good feeling that I’m going to enjoy it dearly :)
We had a couple bad days this past week. Bergie got pretty sick... It started Monday after we ate breakfast at McDonalds. He just had some bad crapping issues haha. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday it was just a little thing. Didn’t bother him... He was able to walk around and such. But then on Thursday.... Wow. It hit him hard. The whole day he was doing it every hour. We didn’t leave the house. We walked to the tienda below our house to get some drinks and snacks, but that was the only time we left. He was in major pain. Friday was a little better, but still not great. Morning we left and did some things, but when it came to the afternoon it got bad again. We had to go get him some pills and stuff from our friend's pharmacy. It was bad. We ended up going to Huehue Saturday actually to get him checked out. He had to poop in a little cup and stuff haha. It was pretty funny. When the lady gave us the results we thought everything was okay with him. Then she told us that he an infection in his intestines, which is exactly what I told him. We went and got a bunch of medication for him and stuff from a pharmacy. Called the mission nurses when we got home. They told him to not to take any of the pills they gave him if he wanted to save his insides haha. Luckily he is feeling a tad bit better. He is going to buy some Metamucil today, and supposedly that will help him more than the pills. We'll see what happens I guess. He is pushing forward though, so that is good...
One thing we started to enjoy was Mac and Cheese. The Kraft, blue box type. They had it at the place we buy food, so we loaded up on it. We bought 12 boxes of it.... We ate two of them Tuesday night, and we can’t even look at the other boxes. We feel like they might have made Bergie even sicker. We have been trying to sell the 10 we have left haha. We don’t know what to do with them... Velveeta is so much better in every way imaginable. Miss it.
I sang a drunken guy with a drunk on Friday night haha. It was great fun... Don’t Matter by Akon. It was crazy haha. He enjoyed it a whole bunch though. I’m really starting to get sick of drunks. So sick of them... It gets very old quick haha. They pet my hair too. I just want to punch them most of the time! We saw a big old quarrel in the street in front of our house the same night. A guy pushed another drunk very hard, and he fell to the ground and couldn’t get up. We thought he was dead, but he eventually got up and walked away. There were about 7 gun shots from the same group of people. Not sure what those were about, but it was sketchy. I love my area... haha.
Before we left to Huehue on Saturday, we were waiting for a truck to pass by... While we were waiting, this truck came speeding down the road. Crashed into a kid on a bike so hard. He attempted to brake, but way too late... The kid hit the street so hard. Scared me. I thought he was going to have broken bones and all that. The kid got up off the ground holding his head, speaking a lot of mam, and sat himself on the side of the road. Everyone got out of their cars to see if he was alright and such. We tried to talk to him and help him because we were right there next to him during the whole thing, but he wouldn’t talk to us. We ended up just walking away. It was pretty intense though...
I got a jersey from a guy here. Says Colo-Colo. It is the basketball for the team in Colo. The one I got is very old, but it is legit. It is like an American flag haha. Makes me laugh when I look at it. I’m going to wear it all the time at home haha.
So about my package home. I gave all the stuff to the guy... His plane leaves on Wednesday. My guess he will call you Thursday or something to try and meet up with you guys. He is very nice to be bringing it all. There is quite a bit... You should probably get him a gift certificate or something. He is going back to AZ to see his daughter get married. I don’t know how long he will be there, but he'll have time to take his wife out to eat I’m sure. He is a cool guy though. Speaks pretty good English, so you should be able to understand him :) I gave him the house number and both of your cell phones. So just be expecting a call sometime this week, alright :) Hopefully it all works out okay!
Ill tell you a little about yesterday... We were going to go to Ical for church, but a truck never passed. We decided to go to Colo for Sacrament and then head up to Ical for the last hour. At the Colo church there was a lady that had been coming with the ex-bishop and his wife for a few weeks. Our Bishop pulled us aside and asked us to talk to her for a little bit. We talked to her and set up an appointment to come by after we were done with our church duties. We showed up to the appointment and we began to talk with her... She told us she wants to be baptized on Saturday! So guess what... We have a baptism this Saturday if all goes well haha. She is like 80 years old though, so it is a bit strange. Never thought I would be baptizing a great grandma on my mission. She is a nice little old lady though, and I guess everyone does need their salvation one way or another. We had to go up to Ical to help a kid that just got his mission call. They sent the part where it says where you are going in English, so they didn’t understand a lot of it. I went and translated it all into Spanish haha. He is going to the Perú Lima East Mission the 6th of October. The kid is really poor, so I’m hoping he is able to get all he needs... Plus he doesn’t speak Spanish really, so it will be quite the adventure for him! haha. Oh! Also, at the Colo church I had a dog sleeping underneath my chair the entire time. Didn’t realize it until we got up to leave haha. Everyone wears cowboy hats to church too. I think they are confused on who exactly they are... Their people fought the cowboys, they weren’t the cowboys.
Last night our friend Diego bought Pizza for us haha. We went to his house to eat and talk with him. It was fun. Really nice guy. Just the pizza was strange. Had mushrooms, hamburger meat, hot dogs, ham, pepperoni, peppers, onions.... Very strange. I felt pretty sick after eating a couple slices.
Life is good. The Gospel is perfect. The people aren’t...but God does work in mysterious ways to make them willing to do what may seem impossible to us. He knows all. He loves all. And I love him. The earth is ready to harvest. Everyone grab a tractor and let's get to work haha. I’m just happy to finally have another baptism... I’m excited :) Hopefully everyone back at home manages to continue to be happy. I miss you all and love you all so very much! Until next week :)
Elder Bitner
Smile folks :) There is hope in everything we encounter.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Email 4 July 2011

Panorama of our Room
¡Hey Hey Hey Everybody!
Happy Fourth of July! It has been good thus far here in another country... Ate breakfast at McDonalds. Breakfast burritos, an apple pie, orange juice, and a McFlurry. It was delicious :) haha. Right now I’m writing you guys listening to Blink 182. The internet people always put on English music when we come in. Love it haha.
So this week was actually very uneventful. Nothing happened as planned... I’ll get into that in a second. How is everything back at home though? People think it is amazing I have a tortoise haha, so hopefully I still have one. He hasn’t died or anything yet I hope. Connor said he is leaving the MTC soon. Isn’t it crazy how fast time goes by? I can’t believe I am where I am in this whole thing. I feel like I just said bye to you guys in the MTC parking lot. It is almost like I just walked away crying from the car haha. At the same time though, it feels like that happened forever ago haha. It is a weird mixture of feelings. Hopefully it is going well back home though, especially with Grandma and Grandaddy moving in :) You guys are going to party hard haha.
Well, about the things not happening as planned... Our entire week was planned/based around the conference Thursday with the new President. We had ideas of what we were going to do each day... When we were going to get our laundry... Our food.... Send our letters.... Visit investigators.... Stuff like that. But of course, the conference was cancelled, so I have yet to meet President Bautista, or even hear his voice. Supposedly we are going to have a conference tomorrow, but we'll see if that actually happens. We have to stay here in Huehue tonight for that reason. Means we will probably get Subway for dinner :) So far he is just like Lorenzana... Planning things, but then just cancelling them. Actually, he did have a conference, but just with the Elders in Xela (Quetzaltenango). It happens like that a lot actually, and I have been in Huehue my entire mission so I miss out on a lot of things. I’m used to it by now. In fact, I even prefer it that way. I love Huehue way too much to say I want out of it. Anyways, I was hoping to be able to tell you what the President was like and what not, but sadly that isn’t an option for me. Sorry about that. Hopefully I’ll have some news about him next week though! We can only dream.
I have come to realize a few things this week though. Things that pertain to the dogs and people here. I feel like the ratio is about equal: one dog for every human.
The dogs are always bugging us. Whether it be attempting to chase us down the road or trying to get food from us. They are always annoying. They are almost always sooo freaking ugly too. It has been rumored that the people that believe in reincarnation, or whatever it is called when you die and come back as an animal, come back as dogs in Guatemala if they were people that would have gone to Hell otherwise haha. It is a pretty good Educated Guess.
Another thing I realized is that after you eat some real chili (as in peppers) you probably shouldn’t touch your eyes. I did that on Wednesday, and I could not open my eyes for a good half hour. I was straight dying! It hurt sooo bad. Made me really mad haha.
I also witnessed a guy walking down the road shaving his face with a very ghetto razor. I figure that is how their faces get so messed up. Don’t you love figuring things out?
On Thursday, even though there was not a conference, my Zone Leaders somehow had pouch for me. They brought it up to Colo. It was 2 packages. One from my friend back home and the other from you guys (my parents). The one from the friend had some Easterish goodies. Yoyos, colored Goldfish, Animal Crackers, eggs filled with favorite scriptures, Swedish fish, and some highlighters. It was quite fun to open and go through everything. Lots of randomness haha. You already know what was in your package... The camera did make it, so high five for that. I love it thus far. Takes some pretty cool panoramic photos, which is exactly what I really wanted so I’m happy. I didn’t think it would be completely water proof, but it is haha. So that is actually really neat. It would be cooler if I was in Hawaii or the Bahamas and could swim in the ocean though. I’ll use it there after the mission though ;) The batteries you sent were not the right ones... You sent CR2023 when I asked for CR2025. You’ll have to give that another try in the next package I guess haha. The Reese’s were delicious though. I gave a package to Bergeson and kept the other for myself. Bergie had his eaten within the first night... haha. I have managed to survive a bit longer than that. I did watch Tyler's video. It was really sad to be honest. Bergie was like, "I don’t know how you are watching this... It would be killing me." I guess I’m stronger than I thought in that department of life. The article of Bin Laden was random. I’ll hang that in every house I have. Perhaps even in the window just so people can see haha. The Skittle blenders were sooo freaking good. Berg and I ate the box of them in like 2 minutes tops. They were yummy.... Sunday night we cooked the Velveeta. It was so good. Put that in every box you send please haha. I ate it while drinking my last Dr Pepper. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get more of that.
On Saturday we got to do something kind of fun. We went to Ixta to help with a service project the church was doing. In the central park there, there is this basketball/soccer court (like the ones in the CCM) in front of the Catholic church that all of Ixta uses for tournaments. The church was asked to paint it...The lines and such, so Bergie and I went! It was soo much fun. We got to wear normal clothes all morning, which was a nice change actually haha. He and I were in charge of one of the hoops and goals. We painted the bars that held it up and such. We painted it blue :) I had to climb up on top to paint all the high parts... I got so dirty. Paint in my hair.... All over my hands....and arms.... On my chin. On my WHITE basketball shorts... haha. I found it really fun. I love doing things like that now. Service that is... Just makes everything seem better in life. Love it :) After there, we hit up that restaurant I told you about last week. We got those Nachos again. Sooooooo freaking good. I feel like I’ve never tasted anything better. Besides maybe a chicken crescent roll ;) haha. The owners of the restaurants love us. They talked to us for a good portion of the time we were there. I love conversing in Spanish now haha. I just want to work in a place with a lot of cool Mexicans when I get home. Just got to find somewhere that pays good and doesn’t kill me, or put me in line at immigration haha. We went back to Colo after we finished our food. We went to this place that sells a bunch of corte stuff. They are making some bags for us that we have wanted really badly. It is going to cost 125 Quetz, but I’m very excited for it haha. They are like the bags people use for basketball with draw strings (like my Mexico bag filled with fireworks), but of corte material. Going to use it all the time at home :) haha. Then we went and visited our friend Diego in his pharmacy. This drunk guy came in and started cussing and chewing out this kid that was working with Diego. The drunk guy ended up slapping the kid pretty hard in the face... But then Diego took the drunk and threw him to the ground. It was soooo awesome. I just wish I had gotten it on video. Probably the coolest thing I have seen on my mission. I was just like, "Oh shoot...That just happened" haha. Saturday just felt like a really good day though. I enjoyed it quite a bit. For church we went to the Ixta branch. The President got up to start us off... Berg and I looked around and it was just us two and 4 others. We laughed about it. There ended up being 35 people though. Just took them a little bit to get to the church I guess. We had investigators show up to church in Ical and Colo, but of course not at the place we went... Just my luck. After church though, we went to lunch at the usual place. The lady gave us some really weird looking stuff. We had no idea what it was.... Came to find out it was the stomach of an ox. Can you believe I even try to eat this stuff??? She saw that we were kinda disgusted by it, so she got us some fried chicken instead haha. Eating all this stuff is going to make my stomach so strong. You know I haven’t thrown up once on my mission? Crazy...
That is about all I can think of though... Hopefully you are enjoying life as much as you can! I’m doing great as always. Loving the mission still, so that is always a good sign ;) Enjoy the Gs present in the house :) Glad I missed that 121 degree weather. It is still pretty hot here though with all the humidity. I like it so far though. Hang in there guys. I miss and love you all so very much!

"Cancha" we painted

Me painting our part

The delicious nachos

Me eating the nachos

Sunday dinner

Me shooting Bin Laden

Email 28 June 2011

My Beautiful Family and Friends,
Me on the Balcony
Today is my 11 month anniversary in the life of a missionary. Only 1 short month from that year mark, or as Bobby called it, "Hump Day." ha-ha. Pretty exciting stuff. 13 more to enjoy this work, and then I’ll be back at home drinking some lovely Vanilla Dr Pepper from QT. Cannot wait ;) ha-ha.
I was very happy to be able to talk with Rachel and Bobby Sunday night. It was nice to hear their voices and to hear that things are going pretty well for them. Made me quite excited to be honest. I was really happy to have something to do Sunday night, too. Kept myself occupied. Always nice ha-ha. It was great though. Now just another 6 months till I can talk to you all again. It will go quick... ha-ha.
Sorry I didn’t email yesterday... Obviously they changed the day on me again. They gave emergency interviews yesterday to those that wanted them before the new President arrived. Therefore today is my email day and P-day. Yesterday we had absolutely nothing to do though, so it was a completely pointless day to be honest ha-ha. I did however eat the best nachos of my life at a little restaurant in Ixtahuacán. They were soooooo good. Can’t even describe it. While we were there, we found out the missionaries that were there got changes the night before... Then last night, we found out they aren’t putting new ones in. That means, it is our area again! ha-ha. Once again I’m over the 1 Ward in Colo and 3 branches in Ixta, Ical, and San Pedro. Supposedly there are some positive investigators in Ixta though, so hopefully we'll be able to work with them in a successful manner :)
This morning on our way here, we were riding this bus thing. It is basically just a minivan, just a tad bit bigger ha-ha. They drive with the door open because it gets filled quickly... So Bergie and I were hanging onto a pole, while hanging outside a door... We both had our backpacks on, and we were driving pretty close to where everyone walks. This old man was walking down towards us, and I knew something was going to happen. He looked away and as we drove by, Bergeson's backpack just smacked the guy in the face real hard. Really sad, but very funny too.
Anyways, we'll get on to what happened this past week... So on Tuesday, Elder Ronfeldt, our assistant, came to our District Meeting. For what reason, I’m not really sure, but he did give us a rather good lesson I think. Now that I think about it, I can’t remember what it was about, so maybe it wasn’t that great after all! ha-ha. Just kidding... With him came "pouch". However, I did not get anything. It has been a while since I have gotten something. Luckily you guys just sent a box though, so I have something to actually look forward to ha-ha. It was at this meeting we found out about the Conference we had Thursday, which would be the last one with President Lorenzana as our Mission President. Pretty sad thought... On Wednesday, we went down to Huehue in the evening to stay in our Zone Leader's house with them. First though, we stopped at a mall there to get us some Subway. The USA vs Panama game happened to be on, so we ended up watching it. It was cool. I got my good old meatball marinara sub though! It was delicious as always. After that, we went to the Zonies...
In the morning we woke up and traveled to Xela. There we had our final conference with President Lorenzana... It was a lot sadder than I thought it would be. A few missionaries gave talks, and then President got up and spoke to us. He told how much he loved us and how we were all his teachers. He taught us about things we need to be careful with in life... Lots of good advice came right there. Finally, he told us that he was going to be living in Xela still. Turns out his job had asked him to take over things in Mexico and Guatemala, so now he isn’t really leaving after all. He made jokes about the missionaries that will serve in his ward ha-ha. Said they are going to work harder than they ever have. Also turns out that he will be the institute teacher for all of Xela, which is actually a very large city... And he will also be in charge of the EFY program they are opening up in Xela. He is really happy it seems. To be honest, I don’t know how long this will all last though... I have a feeling he will a be General Authority rather quickly in his life. He is insane in the church. Great guy and great Mission President. I’m going to miss having him as my President. Who knows what this new one will bring... Hopefully only good things. I was lucky to have President Lorenzana, and I assume I’ll be lucky to have President Bautista. President Lorenzana actually is no longer our "President" officially, and Bautista is as of today. Kind of crazy to think about... Not sure what is all going to happen.
The assistants told me that they have to drive around Bautista to every area the first two weeks, so that will probably be when I meet him. We actually might have a conference with on Thursday if I remember right. That might get cancelled like always though. I’m excited to meet and hear him for the first time. It is going to be a big change...
Before we all left from the conference, President took a picture of the entire mission and then a picture with each of us. He gave us all little pins too. They say "Misión Guatemala Quetzaltenango" on top, and on the bottom it says, "Misionero Excepcional". In the middle is a picture of a small temple with a family above it. It is a pretty nice looking pin, however, I’ll probably never wear it. More of one of those keepsake sort of things ha-ha. It is cool though. I got to see Shaw again too.
We left the conference on a different bus than all the others because we didn’t want to be smashed again. Before we found the bus though, we went to this place called Club 99 and bought some Dr Pepper :) I got four cans... It was beautiful ha-ha. We got on the bus and went back to Huehue. We stopped at a gas station in Huehue before heading up to Colo, so I could pull out some money to buy jerseys for Cole and such. There I saw the Bishop from my old ward, Cerrito Del Maíz. He wouldn’t let us leave until we let him buy us something... He ended up getting us each a small little pizza...A big Gatorade...and a small can of Pringles. I love that man... ha-ha. He is awesome. I actually miss that area a lot to be honest. I want to go back to it towards the end of my mission, but I don’t know if that will happen because there are Sisters there now. That Bishop is awesome though. Bergeson and I were very happy ha-ha. But the ride back to Colo in the back of a truck was very, very cold. We could only laugh at how bad we were shaking...
On Saturday, I searched for some jerseys. I was able to find a few. I got Cole a couple, so he'll be able to have those when the box gets there. That is once I send it... It is going to be expensive, so I’m nervous to send it. Oh well though. We actually talked to a guy that lived in the states for 6 years. His job was to drive around all the illegal’s to different states to work and live. He said he had to do a lot of drugs, cocaine and such, to stay awake during the long drives ha-ha. He was a crazy guy... He did ask quite a few questions about the church though, so that was cool.
We got 2 references this past week. Both of which seem really positive. One of the members that gave us one told us that the lady wanted to be baptized this week perhaps. I doubt it will happen this week, but it is cool still. Hopefully some good comes out of it.
That was my week though... Again, it was nice talking to you guys for a little bit last night. The circumstances of the call were rough, but we made the best of it.
Hang in there everyone. I miss you all and love you all so much! You guys are amazing! Until next week...
David :)......Elder Bitner!

With President Lorenzana

The Pin he gave us

A favorite thing: mountains in the clouds