Monday, December 26, 2011

Email 25 December 2011

Note from Mom – Posted two weeks (running behind in my life) and David took pictures of his 12 days of Christmas and even though he was nine days behind when he finally got his box (which we mailed at the 1st of November) he changed his tie for each picture for me.

Beautiful Peoples,
A late Merry Christmas to everyone! Hope it was a good one for all of you... I heard about some of it yesterday in the phone call. It was really nice to hear everyone's voices and enjoy what company I could of each of you. Just one more phone with you guys before this whole shin-dig ends. We'll see how fast it comes...
Christmas was great on my end. The entire week was fun actually!
Thursday we had our big "Mission Conference" (should just be called "Mission Party", but no...). It was awesome just to be with everyone... With Pte. Bautista we don’t get together as an entire mission ever, so it was quite the event. I got to see all my little buddies. Shaw being the most important in that regard... Love the kid.
We just had a little fireside type thing to start us off. Pte and his wife talked, along with a new Senior couple here. It was pretty cool.
For lunch we had lasagna (I think that is how you spell it) and Frutadas :), which is my favorite drink from Huehue if you remember. I did get the package as I mentioned yesterday. It was really nice of you all. I enjoyed every little bit and so did my comp, so thank you very much.
Saturday was a lot of fun too because we spent the entire day as a Zone basically. We played basketball...Made mashed potatoes. Bought fried chicken. Drank chocolate milk. At night time I watched all the fireworks... So legit.
So amazing. One thing I definitely will miss about Guate. Christmas great. Ate a ton of Guatemalan food too to celebrate.
Visited with members a little. It was a great little night. I was really tired for church though.
The week was really good. A lady even tried to make me some fettuccini alfredo, but with ham. It was actually really good. I told her it was my favorite, so she gave a try at making it. Nice family and lady haha.
Anyways, hope all is well. I miss you all sooo much! Glad Christmas was good... Now let's just hope the New Year is good :) Take care and enjoy yourselves. You are the best. Thanks for everything! Love you guys.
Elder Bitner!

Elder Callejas

Email 19 December 2011

Hello there my loves,
Wow... I cannot believe we are already to the week of Christmas! Time just goes by without me even noticing nowadays. Pretty legit I guess. In just a few days will be on the phone with some of you. How exciting is that? Something I’m definitely looking forward too. The coolest thing about this Christmas is probably the fact that I’ll be home for next year's now :) My last Christmas in Guatemala... Then I can go back to what I consider normal traditions. Yay! Haha.
This past week has been a little better than the last. I still didn’t feel good until Friday... It was rough on me. Waking up every morning with nothing but pure pains throughout my entire body. Not the best time in the world to say the least. Luckily after a week of unpleasant trips to the bathroom, I feel better. It is a big relief.
One thing I have truly come to hate here is eggs. Not just eggs in general, but eggs Sunny-Side-Up... Those things are disgusting. I don’t know how anyone eats the yoke like that. Drives me crazy... I can’t even really get it down my throat anymore. I have to eat a ton of tortillas or bread and cover the eggs in hot sauce and ketchup if I want to enjoy it haha. Honestly though, that is probably my least favorite food in the world. It just doesn’t make sense to me how people like it like that!
I have yet again developed more love for our Bishop Elvis haha. We had lunch with him on Tuesday. He forgot to tell his wife that he signed up for us, so once again he drove over to McDonald's and picked up some of the "good" stuff. This time he actually asked what we wanted too. We were at his house a few nights this week actually. They have a little organ in their house that I have wanted to play since I saw it, so one of these past nights I finally asked if it worked. From there she gave me some Christmas music and let me play it for a while. Great fun haha. We ate with them again on Friday. That day they just gave us some delicious Tacos. I actually preferred it over McDonalds anyways haha. Supposedly we are going to have a nice meal with him at some point this week with the Sister missionaries from the ward next to us. Nice, nice family...
Friday night we had a legit activity. Our "Ceña Navideña" as a ward. Tons of people showed up... The whole thing was fun. So for part of the activity, we had fireworks :) Ones that shot up in the air though and were pretty. Not the stuff you can buy in Target nowadays. I was put in charge of lighting a few. Awesome... I love fireworks! That is one thing I will for sure miss about Christmas here. Ridiculous amounts of fireworks haha. One that my comp lit actually tipped over and started shooting at the crowd haha. May sound dangerous, but we handled it alright. It almost took out this like 15 year old kid. He had to jump pretty high to dodge it. It was quite amazing to be honest haha. I’ll always be safe though, so don’t worry about that!
Again, I can’t believe it is already Christmas. It is really exciting for me to be honest. I’m going to do my best to enjoy this week... I hope you are all able to enjoy it as well. Whatever it is you all do... I’ll be doing the same as always. Just walking around Guatemala! haha. Please be happy and help those around you be just as happy as you are. I love you all so very much and wish you all a very Merry Christmas :) Have a good one and take care! Until the phone call Sunday!
Elder Bitner!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Email 12 December 2011

Beloved Friends and Family,
Hi :) This past week has been a long one but a good one I’m happy to say. Hopefully all is going well for you guys back home...  My companion and I got sick again Saturday due to my lunch Friday. A piece of chicken, rice, tomatoes, and onions. Welcome to Guatemala.
Anyways, we celebrated "Dia Del Diablo" this past week. It is just the day where they burn piñatas that look like the devil? I don’t understand traditions here haha. We weren’t given permission to leave the house past six, so that kind of ruined that day for us. Had some fun playing Bancopoly though (the Guatemalan Monopoly). We also had an activity this past week with our Elder's Quorum. The one we were supposed to have the last week... Went well.
On Thursday we ate lunch with the same family we always eat lunch with...but this time there was a white guy there. Erick Black. Served here like a year ago... Came to say hi and be here for the dedication. Turns out to be from Ogden. Good friends with my old comp's (Elder Shaw's) family. It was pretty weird talking to him... Fun little moment of the week though I guess you could say.
My comp and I spent some good quality time cleaning up our house throughout the week. It was definitely needed. There are some very dirty Elders that have lived there. We actually turned one of our walls into a collage of pictures we had gathered from Liahonas and such. Sadly I forgot to take a picture of it, so that will have to wait till next week I’m afraid. We even put down "carpet" (took old blankets and put them on the ground haha) in one of the rooms. Pretty awesome haha. Missionaries get easily amused. It is sad...
This week I went on divisions. My district leader came to my area to be with Callejas and I went to his area (Chiquilaja) to be with his comp, Elder Alvarado. It was pretty fun I guess... Nothing too special. I got pizza with him because he was really hungry. That was the day I was starting to get sick, so eating was rather rough on me... When I woke up Saturday, I could barely move. Felt miserable.
Saturday was the Cultural Night here in Xela. Sad to say we weren’t given permission to go to it though... Typical right? Missionaries don’t get to do "fun" things. I heard it was pretty good. President Uchtdorf talked about it a lot in the Dedication... I still plan on watching it someday...
I was able to participate in the dedication. By that I mean I was able to see it in the church... Went to all 3 sessions. It was really cool. President Uchtdorf was hilarious in all of them. Mainly because he didn’t speak Spanish... He kept speaking English to everyone thinking they would understand. Oh it was great... They were really cool to see though. The temple is officially a temple now. The ward I’m in has their first session tomorrow. Pretty exciting for them.
Played another Zone in soccer today. Got a new jersey for it and everything... Pretty fun to be honest :) We won, which makes it even better!
Completed my 500th day on Friday. Haven’t missed a day in my journal. Doing good in that department... Write some things no one should probably read though haha.
Well, I hope things continue to go well. Christmas is getting close... Pretty crazy. Enjoy this week though. Miss you and love you all! Take care.
Elder Bitner
Zone after Soccer Game

Monday, December 5, 2011

Email 5 December 2011

Legit dog of one of our investigators
Hey there,
First off, Happy Birthday to Becky this week :) Hopefully you enjoy being 31! It is weird how much older than me you are... Anyways, hope everything else is going well back there. This week has been pretty good though. Lots of fun stuff. Well kind of haha.
It was a really good week though. We moved one of our investigators (Patricia) and her daughter in with a member. We actually taught her a little lesson yesterday after helping her carry some things to her house. Also helped the lady she moved in with paint her bathroom.
On Saturday we had a lunch appointment get cancelled on us... Our Bishop stood up to the plate and let us eat with him. His wife gave us a vegetable soup that had like rice, meat, and veges obviously. The Bishop called though and found out that was what we were eating and said it wasn’t good enough haha. So...he stopped by McDonalds on his way home and got us each a Big Mac meal. As we waited for him to get to the house, his wife gave us a bowl of chocolate ice cream. It was a really legit lunch though.... The Bishop's name is Elvis... haha. makes him even more cool. I love the guy.
I met a lady from Derek's mission. She is from Mission, TX. She was here visiting family. She actually knew the missionaries that died. She began to cry telling us about them... It was pretty sad to be honest. I didn’t get her name, but she did say Bitner sounded strangely familiar. I doubt he knows her though, or that she knows him. It was cool to talk with her though. Especially since she knew a tiny bit of English.
So we were teaching the Joseph Smith vision to a guy Saturday with Smack That by Akon in the background. It was pretty funny. I sure couldn’t focus haha. "Smack that all on the floor... Smack that give me some more..." haha. Oh the mission......
I did see the Christmas Devotional last night. That was pretty cool to see since last year I didn’t get to.
So I realized something... My first night in the mission when I stayed in the hotel, a couple Elders in the office came and got Elder Bergeson and I out of the hotel and took us to an activity of theirs. Turns out I’m in that same area. The church and that street is the same one... It was weird man that I can picture myself there for what seems like forever ago haha. Just a little random thing. I was in my area that I’m in now over a year ago...
Anyways, life is good... I’m enjoying myself and success looks likely, so I’m pretty excited. I hope all goes well for you guys. Have great weeks :) I love you all so very much. Take care.
Elder Bitner
Painting bathroom