Monday, July 9, 2012

Email 9 July 2012

Hey, Well... It is over. It really has come to that point. I just had my final interview with President and now I realize that I'm going to actually be home. I mean, it is really hard to believe still, but it amazes me. Amazes me big time. The interview was good though. Just talked to me about dating and finding the "Mrs Bitner" more than anything. It was kind of funny haha. Some things did happen this week, but I think it will be fun to talk about it in person rather than this, so I'm not going to say anything right now. 3 days though... Basically 2... It's done and I couldn't be happier. I look forward to Thursday so much. Thanks for all the support these past 2 years. It has been a good ride, but now it is time to start the real life. Hopefully I can start it and finish it good. I love you all. We'll see you on Thursday :) Love, Elder Bitner...for the last time.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Email 2 July 2012

Okay Guys, I’m starting to trip... I’m going to be home in just 10 days now. Doesn’t even feel real! Next week though, we will see that it is very, very real.
This past week has been weird because there have been a lot of white people here in Nahualá. There is a group from some university in the states. One of them is even a member...He came to our church yesterday and bore his testimony in Quiché. That was pretty cool. He is one of about 12 in that group and then there is the professor guy from BYU with his grandson. Tuesday morning we had a special meeting in Xela. We actually were able to do something for P-Day today. Got together at 8:30 to play soccer. My last time... Weird. Sad. But good at the same time :)
Right after that meeting, I went to the mission home to have an interview with President Bautista. I got my recommend renewed and am now ready for the temple on Tuesday. I’m very excited about that. It has been 20-something months since I last went to the temple. This one will feel real good. The first thing President asked me when I walked into his office was, "So have you decided on which career you are going to follow?" I forgot about that question... Now it is back on my mind again. He's right though, I do need to figure that one out soon.
That same day, I got the package too. Thanks for doing that again... The tie...is....nice. I’ll be wearing a different one though. The candy...awesome:) Thanks for that. Thursday I hit my 23 months, and I ate fish again. This time I took pictures (I ate fish for lunch today too. Didn’t like it as much.) It tasted pretty great. I just don’t like eating around all the bones that are inside the thing. It is kind of crazy how many there actually are in the fish they give us. I stabbed the inside of my mouth a good number of times haha.
My favorite day though was Saturday. We took an adventure. Went out to see some more waterfalls here... Our buddies that took us got lost a few times, but we eventually made it. We just had to make our own trails with machetes a lot haha. Plus trying to just climb up a mountainside is pretty hard. Especially when it is all mud due to rain. The waterfalls were awesome. They were like two twin waterfalls right next to each other. Prettiest ones I’ve seen in my mission. I was a big fan. Coming back, one of the buddies cut down some wood to take home. He carried it for a while but then couldn’t anymore because he had hurt his foot earlier in the week...so instead of waiting for him to rest I decided to just carry it for him. It was hard... I don’t know how they do it here, but they do. Even old women Grandma´s age do it. They tie it all up and then hang it off their heads putting more than necessary pressure on their necks. I walked over 2 miles with the thing. It felt like my head was going to fall off in all honesty. Worked out alright though because I was able to make it to their house with it. Didn’t have to rest or pass it on to someone else. I was proud of my weak little self haha.
Tripping out has been a big part of my week. Mainly about my homecoming talk and what I should bring home haha. This week will probably even be worst. We have made some fun plans with people though, so it should be a good last week. I’m looking forward to it :) Next week will be my last letter home... I can’t believe that my time has come to an end. It's over. It really is. I honestly didn’t think it would make me sad, but I’m starting to feel that "tristeza" come over me. Guatemala really has become a home to me, even though there are so many things I don’t like about it. I guess the things I like outweigh all of those ones. It has been a good experience for me, and I will never regret it.
Hope all of you are ready for me to come home. If not, you better prepare. Take care. Love you all, Elder David Bitner

Email 25 June 2012

Elder Baboza
Heyy Heyy Heyy,
Can you believe it? 17 more days until I see your beautiful faces again... It is driving me crazy how close it is. It just needs to be the day already. My 700th day in the mission is tomorrow. That will be a pretty cool feeling haha. I remember when I hit 100 days... I thought it was so cool. Felt like I had so much time here. Now with 700? I feel like I’ve been here an eternity. Well, I said goodbye to Elder Adams Tuesday morning. We left Nahualá to the highway to catch a bus...it just so happened that the bus we caught had 6 missionaries on it from Quiche haha. What are the odds? Two of them were my good buddies, so it was fun for me. Monday night Bergeson called me and told me who my new companion was because he saw it on the "Change Wall" in President Bautista's office during his last interview. So...I already knew who my new companion was before even getting to the terminal. That has been how it has been my whole mission though. I always know what is going to happen with me haha. My new companion is actually the "kid" of Bergeson. He trained him back when we were first starting... His name is Elder Barboza, and he is from Jaén, Peru. A cool kid. Now I can learn some more words in Spanish. We get a long great, so we are both happy. Not much time with the kid, but we're making the best of it.
With changes...the closed one of the areas in Nahualá. The area that Bergeson was in actually, Chirijox. We had to stop there with this guy to take all the stuff out of the house, so he could take it to another area...the house....was a mess. I have never seen something so dirty before. Needless to say, this week we are headed up there to clean what we can of it. Not going to be a fun task. We did find some cool stuff that Bergeson and his comp left behind though, so that was nice :) You guys remember how I used to make Pupusas all the time in Xela with the Sister Missionaries by us? Well, those same two Sisters are companions again in my District haha. They promised me that we would make them before I go home. I’ll have another chance to eat them by an actual girl from El Salvador.
On Thursday we had a conference with a couple Zones in Xela. Elder Amado, part of the Area Presidency, came to talk to us. His talk didn’t have a lot to do with missionary work. He talked about marriage more than anything I think. It was a cool conference. The only bad thing was waking up at 4:04 to get to Xela by 6:30 so the thing could start at 7:00. I was dying that day. I almost fell asleep a couple times. Felt like I was going on a Utah trip haha like back in the day when we would leave super early. Xela is not at all like Utah though. I’m officially the oldest in the mission. One of the next four to be going home. Pretty crazy. I, as well as everyone else, cannot believe that my day has come. Not going to lie, it is getting really hard now that it is so close. I’m still always happy so that is good. Tomorrow I have an interview with President Bautista to renew my recommend, so I’m sure he'll give me some words of advice on that.
Anyways, hope the move goes great. Enjoy the OK brother haha. I love you all so much :)
Love, Elder Bitner!
Early morning
David's Gym

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Email 18 June 2012

Zona Nahuala
Well Hi,
So I’m still in Xela because I’m waiting for Bergeson to get out of his last interview so I can give him some stuff... Therefore, I just decided to do the email right now while I’m waiting for the lucky kid! First off, Happy Father's Day to dad and everyone else! Hope it was filled with manliness. Second, Happy Birthday to Cole! 5 years old... That seems unreal.
All is well for me. Changes are tomorrow. I will be finishing my mission in Nahualá, so no surprises there... However, my companion, Elder Adams, does have changes. So for my last 3 weeks, I’ll have a new companion. That is a surprise. Not sure who it is going to be, so that will be weird for me to find out tomorrow since I was banking on Adams being my last comp. Oh well I guess.
Still can’t believe Bergeson is leaving... I made him give the message in District Meeting since it was his last opportunity to do so haha. He did good. That kid really has been like a brother to me... He and I have really gotten close over the last couple years.
Speaking of buddies though... Ryan sent me his flight plans. It is official. We are on the same flights! We'll both be in Sky Harbor at 3:35pm, July 12th. Pretty awesome!
Friday, the Zonies asked me to have a "sleep over" with them. Even though we had some appointments that we were looking forward to, we went and did it. They needed me to do a baptismal interview for them, so that was the purpose in the whole sleepover and what not. It was my first interview for a baptism. The girl answered everything right and looked really prepared, but then she told me she didn’t want to be baptized yet. That took me by surprise because of how ready she actually was, but obviously we can’t just force someone into the water. Her family was reactivated a few months ago. Her parents and sisters are all baptized, but she isn’t...and for some reason doesn’t want to be quite yet. Someday though... I know that.
Saturday, we had a huge activity. Did a sports day in celebration of Father's Day. Soccer and basketball... It was a lot of fun. They listened to Lil Wayne the entire time basically. Pretty tight for a church activity haha.
I love you all so much and can’t wait to see you. Have a great week and take care :)
Love, Elder Bitner

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Email 11 June 2012

David's lunch today
Hi there everybody,
Tomorrow happens to be the one month mark until I’m coming home. Pretty unbelievable. I’m almost done... It just can’t be. My entire mission I have thought that going home was just never going to happen, but here I am...just 30 days away. Remarkable.
This week has been very unexciting. On Tuesday I had some fun before the Zone Meeting though. I played ping-pong for the first time in who knows how long...and I highly recommend that you buy a ping-pong table. They are awesome. The church building where our Zone Leaders are has one, so when we showed up early we found them playing it and joined in on the fun! And now, I really badly want one haha.
I was able to chop wood again this week. Two and half hours of it. I got a ton of it done too. I kept coming across very large black spiders when I tried to grab a new piece of wood. That was slowing me down a little bit. I’m not scared of spider because I have 155 pounds on them, but these things were big and just kept coming out of nowhere, along with worms...so I took my time picking up the wood. One thing I don’t understand is how they go through so much wood! Blows my mind.
That day we were chopping we had an appointment. I ended up sending my companion with another kid to go do it. I thought he knew where he was going, but it turned out that he didn’t. The appointment was to go visit references, so we sent them to the house of the member that gave them to us and then they went to visit the family... Turned out he went to a different house of a member. It worked out alright because that member actually did take them somewhere haha, so it was kind of funny. Now we have even more references...but explaining all that to the lady we were supposed to actually go with was troubling. Made me feel bad because she just kept saying, "Well, they were expecting us... Hopefully that doesn’t ruin it." It ended up working out alright with them too. Sunday afternoon we went to visit the lady with the member lady. Turns out the lady only speaks Quiche, so we weren’t able to really communicate with her. We had to talk through the member that took us there... Our new plan is to get 2 ex-missionaries to go with us that speak Quiche and that way they can just do all the talking, since they know it all. We'll see if it works out like that though.

Anyways, those are the big points of the week. We actually have quite a few investigators now, so life is looking good in that perspective. We'll just have to see if they continue to be interested.
Well, take care all. I love you guys so much :) I’ll see you in a month! Love, Elder Bitner

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Email 4 June 2012

The Waterfall
WOW,
It has been a pretty busy day... Lots of buses more than anything. We headed down to Xela this morning for P-Day. Got sick of Nahualá/Toto, so we figured Xela would give us some good fun. I went "shopping" in the Central Park trying to find some stuff. I will be honest with you right now, I’m getting another suit. Couldn’t resist. The two should last me a good while though, so it is worth it. This one I’m getting is basically paid for, so not too much money to worry about there. It will cost about the same as the other one though. I just wanted a black suit with a vest too. Sorry... I just like dress clothing I guess haha. Then we went to Walmart. I dropped some true money there. Not that much actually... It was basically all my groceries for the month, so that is good. Now I don’t have to worry about buying that really. Thank goodness.
There was another death here last week. Another father of a member. I don’t know what it is, but everyone just seemed to be dying there for a moment. 3 people in 6 days? Intense.
The puppies that we had in our backyard got stolen. Wasn’t happy about that... On Wednesday, when we got back from lunch, they were all gone! Someone is getting some good money selling them at least though.
The guy that I baptized here in Nahualá is becoming quite the legit member. Gives prayers in classes and all that good stuff. His daughter, Angela, says "Elder" every time she sees us.  Makes me smile at least.
Took somewhat of an adventure Saturday morning. This kid Erik had been asking me forever what day we were going to go to the waterfall here in Nahualá. He was really wanting to take us for some reason...so finally on Saturday, we went with the little guy. It was a nice little hike. Took about an hour to get there. Tired us out a tiny bit, but we managed to keep our strength. The waterfall was pretty big though. I actually went and stood under this one... It may look like fun and just a good time in general, but as soon as I got under it, it wasn’t all that cool haha. It felt like someone was just pouring a ton of rocks onto my ears. Hurt so bad... Waterfalls are some very strong earthly objects. I felt like I was being suffocated under it! It was taking all the wind out of me because it was pelting my back so hard. Worth it though. Waterfalls are just too cool.
When we were sitting in Sacrament Meeting on Sunday, this lady sitting behind us passed me a note telling me that her husband that was sitting next to her was investigating the church and that she wanted us to go visit him. We have an appointment with him tomorrow night. He is actually the brother-in-law of the guy I baptized here a while ago, so it is kind of cool that he is coming to church now too. Maybe we'll have some success with him. We can only hope :)
Giving a talk in church on Sunday. Yay...
Tyler hits a year of being gone this week. Sad... Very sad.
That has been it though I think. Not much more. Just trying to find some people to baptize before I bounce on out of here. 38 days left is not a lot, so we got to find quickly. Anyways, take care and have great weeks!
I love you all. Love, Elder Bitner

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Email 28 May 2012


Whoa, Another month gone...which means 22 months on this thingy-ma-jigger. Great times and long days. Very worth it in the end though. It is really weird being the "old guy" in the mission and having to give a lot of advice and what not. Feels cool, but at the same time it is hard. You never want to say something that would ruin the future of someone's mission. Chances are, that I only say things that do just that. My bad. Life is good though.
Not too much news, but a goodish week. On Thursday, our branch had an activity for "Mother's Day". They did it a little late, but at least they did something. Pretty impressed. It was my first activity since being here! and... probably my last. The youth were put in charge of it. It was basically just a Talent Show of sorts. Heard lots of good music haha. It was cool though because we got a few investigators there. It allowed people to have the opportunity to invite friends and what not.
 Friday I got what I hope is my last haircut in Guatemala. I’m really trying to not cut it here again...that way Becky can cut when I get home.
We found quite a bit of new people to teach this past week. The 2 best are the same two people that showed up to church last week and this week. Mike...(just a random guy we talked to in the street), and Belinda (the wife of a less active). Hopefully we can create some magic up in that :)
So Saturday, we got our "prize" for doing the 40 contacts the week before. We traveled down to Xela and had a small little conference with President Bautista. Then we watched a movie. We saw "Tangled". It killed all of us... All we all want to do now is go home and hang out with the ladies, but we can’t. Yet... haha. I still need to see it at home though because we watched it in Spanish here. Afterwards we ate lasagna though. Delicious.
Best part of it all, I got the package! and the cuff links were inside the Skittles. High five for that. I’m a fan. After all that we got permission to run over to Walmart. I got 3 Dr Peppers and 2 Mountain Dews. Awesome purchases...
Over the weekend we had 2 deaths here in Nahualá. The father of a member and the daughter of the other. Saturday we went and visited the guy who had the father die. We saw his casket open...weird. While we were there, we received a lot of attention from everyone. They fed us and talked to us a ton. We were really respected by lots of non-members. Pretty cool. Sunday morning we followed the procession thing. In the states everyone drives behind the hearse...here, everyone walks behind the pick-up. You can see the difference, but means the same. It wasn’t as sad as the other death though. This guy I became good friends with when I was covering the other ward too had his 3 month old daughter die Sunday morning. She wasn’t sick at all and was perfectly fine. No one understands what happened. Especially him... He just kept telling me Sunday Afternoon when I went to visit him that he hated life. It was so sad. Seeing the little coffin on this tiny table just made me want to cry. Held it in though. Just hope I was able to give him some words of comfort. I’m not a fan of little kid deaths. Those are terrible in every single way possible...
That has been the week though. Anyways, I hope is going well for everyone back there. Things are going just fine for me for now. No problems lately, so I’m happy :) Please, have a good week everyone! Do some good...and...smile big! Love, Elder Bitner
Following the Pickup
Cemetary
Puppies born in our backyard

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Email 22 May 2012

Rainy Season
Hey Wonderful People,
Finding out about 2 minutes ago my travel plans was the best part of my day...haha. I’m glad to hear that they finally do exist. 3:30 pm? Not bad... I definitely thought it was going to be a lot later than that. Lucked out I guess. We'll have a good afternoon to spend my first day in the "casa". Just make sure you set things up with President Martin, please. And let me know the plan.
So I know it is somewhat weird that I’m writing today. They switched our P-Day on us so we could go hike this mountain in my area to visit this little tourist site that looks over Lake Atitlan. Sadly it didn’t work out though. They decided to not let us do it in the end because of some complicated things. Next week it looks like we are going for sure though, so P-Day will be on Tuesday again next week I think. For P-Day we went to the Zone Leader's area and started off the day with a District Meeting. Ours lasted about 5 minutes. Pretty nice and short meeting. Funny too haha. After we began to play basketball in the city there. After some manipulative talk on my part, I got everyone to travel over to Totonicapan to play in the church there, since it is a lot nicer. Before that though, we ate some "chucos" (weird hot dog thingies)...then to the Despense to buy my weekly Special K ;) and then to play. It was a lot of fun to play. I’m excited for Night Basketball at the Stake Center when I get back home. That was basically my P-Day though. Just played basketball for a good amount of hours!
Anyways, about the past week... Rainy season is official. Rains everyday...and I love it. We had another 40 contact week this past one. Finally accomplished the goal. Yay :) For all the people that did this one, President Bautista is having a Movie and Lunch deal on Saturday. Supposedly we are going to be able to see a pretty legit movie too. Right now, that is what everyone is looking forward too haha. This past Friday my comp and I went to another area of Elders in the District to try and help them meet the goal of 40 too (we exceeded!). It is a place called Juchanep, right outside of Totonicapan. I went around "tracting" with a kid that came to the mission with me named Elder Bagley. Had a good time with him... Funny stuff occurred haha. After we accomplished the goal of people, we began to visit some members. I had a lady sew a Hollister tag onto the back of the tie I was wearing, so now I have a fake Hollister tie. Pretty cool. Then we went to visit their Branch President. Something pretty crazy happened there. We walked in, and the President was like, "Elder Bitner? That is my son's name!" His little 3-year-old son has the name Bitner... Russell Bitner Alvarado! How freaking weird is that? I was tripping when he told me. Thought it was sooo funny haha. They told me they found the name in the Liahona in an article about Hinckley. They have a 7-year-old too, and her name is Marjorie...the wife haha. I took a pic with Bitner though. That family was really awesome though. They even gave me a jersey of Real Madrid doesn’t get much better than that haha.
Something random...a lot of people think I’m from Canada. When I say I’m from Arizona, they say "no....you are too white. You would be darker." What they forget is I’ve been here for 2 years, so I don’t see any sun haha. Ridiculous.
At church, we had 2 investigators. Hopefully some positive things come out of both. One guy was a guy we met a while back named Mike. We exchanged phone numbers and he would call me randomly all the time. Saturday night I saw him in the street and told to show up to church tomorrow at 10. At 9:30 he called me to make sure on the time and then showed up. He liked it a lot too supposedly, so we have a good little shot with him. He lives in the area of the other Elder's though... Whoops. I don’t care haha. That is the mission and the life right now though.
Things are good as always. Hopefully things are well back there. Everyone take care though and be happy. I love you guys. July 12th at 3:35 pm we will meet again. Yippeee! Love, Elder Bitner
The other "Bitner" in Guatemala

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Email 14 May 2012

Elder Adams
Long Time No Talk,
So...I know this is pretty late of an email. We got held up in Xela trying to get Bergeson a suit and playing soccer and yeah... We had a "tournament" with my old Zone in Xela this morning. The Zone Leaders made the teams and everything, but my team won the championship :) It was a good feeling. I was just impressed we did so well. It was awesome.
This basically is pointless I feel like. I just talked to everyone last night, so it feels weird saying the same ol' stuff really. You all know I had changes in a way. A moved like a block down the street to open up a new area called Xeraxón (pronounced Share-uhh-shown). My new companion is legit though. We are getting along great and he is hilarious, which makes everything so much better. His name is Elder Adams and is from Maine. Well, sort of from there... It is complicated. In a cool kind of way though. I’m very happy with the changes.
Was sick a little bit this week, but not a big deal really.
Other than that we have just been trying to get settled into our new house. I’m a big fan though. Anyways, it was great talking to you guys yesterday. I really enjoyed it, but obviously a longer conversation without so much delay would have been a lot better. Sadly, it didn’t work out like that. Pretty crazy to think that the next time I talk to you is going to be when I’m at home! It is sneaking up quickly. 2 months and we will be reunited again.
Let me know if there is anything people need from Guatemala! I’ll send a longer one next week. Love you all so much and miss you all so much. Again, I loved talking to you yesterday :)
With much love, Elder Bitner!
 PS-You are all the best.
David's clothes rack he made out of an old box spring
David's Mother's Day Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner - Special K
Victorious Soccer Team

Monday, May 7, 2012

Email 7 May 2012

Juan Esteban Guarchaj Cotiy
Hey there folks,
Pretty hard to believe that I’ll be making my last phone call home this week. Looking forward to it being over...because that way I can say that the next time I talk to you will be when I get home! Legit.
It has been a good week. Juan Esteban Guarchaj Cotiy is your newest member in Nahualá! Friday was the baptism, and it went pretty well. Things started off late as usual sadly. It was the baptizee's fault this time though. He didn’t show up until 5, so that is when everything kicked into gear. The only problem was, the light went out right about 5 too. No electricity... It was light outside still though, so not a big deal really. The coolest thing though, was the fact that right when they started to get up to go into the font....the light came back on. As Juan and my companion walked into the font, they had the 3 little lights shining down on them in the water. We all know a thing like that would go unnoticed in many situations, but I realized the mini-miracle that it brought. For me, it was amazing. Sunday he was confirmed, and now is a legitimate member. He is a very happy guy it seems. His wife...is sooo happy. They had been together 6 years, and until now did he decide to make the decision to join the church. He told us many missionaries had passed by with him over the years, but this time his mindset was different. He wanted what was best for his family. Great, great experience for me to be a part of. Never will forget that one.
Other than that though, the week was pretty normal haha. Tuesday I ate 3 dinners! That almost killed me. Lots of noodles. Didn’t get sick, and I was able to fit it all in my little body. That is definitely a miracle to me! We found a new house for the new area here in Nahualá. Turns out...that I’ll be going to that area. I’ll be opening it with a kid, I don’t know his name or anything because all they would tell me is he has some 5ish months in the mission. Yay for being with new people haha. Rumor is that Bergeson is coming out here to be in an area close by, so that is exciting. My companion right now, Elder Nuñez, will be training. Should be weird to see everything work its way into place tomorrow. On Wednesday, two missionaries came to stay with us. Belus (who was in Quiché when I was there) and Bagley (who was my friend on Facebook before coming out here). We had a good time. Belus had to come to the baptismal interview for Juan, so that is why they came out. We took advantage of the time though and made a "tuj" appointment for the 4 of us. We got to bathe in the steam room yet again. We even did again on Saturday. Twice last week! Hopefully second-hand-smoke doesn’t become a problem of mine haha.
Something interesting I found out about this place here was the fact that the women cut their hair one time a year for the most part here in Nahualá. May 2nd we were visiting and a ton of the ladies were cutting each other's hair... We were like, "What's the deal?" And then they explained that to us. Pretty weird tradition, but cool at the same time.
That has been my week though. I just got back here to Nahualá from Xela. Went and ran a few errands. Nothing too exciting. I got to eat Wendy's again! Felt like a real P-day... haha. Hope all is well. Can’t wait to talk to you guys on Sunday. Should be a good last call..... ;)
Love you all and miss you all. Take it easy, Elder Bitner
Church in Nahuala
Drunk in front of our house

Monday, April 30, 2012

Email 30 April 2012

Invitation for Baptism
Hola,
How goes it yourselves? It goes alright for me. Good and bad things happened this past week. That's life though week in and week out. There are always the hard moments and the happy ones. First off, the thing that made me mad, really mad in fact... It was honestly the only bad part of the week, but it had quite the effect surprisingly. I finally got Derek's and Brittany's package. I was very excited to finally be holding it my hands. The thing on the front said that it contained a cotton shirt, cuff links, and a tie. That got me really excited to open it. Then the other missionaries pointed out to me that on the box it had a sticker that said Broken Package, and it had Guatemalan post office tape all over it. That had happened before so I wasn’t too worried. I opened up and found the shirt, "El Gran Diablo Blanco". Everyone got a kick out of that one. Pull out the tie next. Canali brand. Nice... Then the cuff links, but wait! They weren’t in the box. Someone in this country that works for the postal service cut open my box and took the things that had me most excited. So...I have the french cuff shirt to wear home but no cuff links. Maybe I’ll be able to find some here that I can buy, but it will be a hard search. Mainly hurts because Derek and Brittany actually put forth the effort to send me the box and it all didn’t even get to me safely. Upsets my little heart.
Other than that, the week was fun and good. We had a couple soccer activities. We went to Chirijox Tuesday afternoon, to help the 3 Elders there with an activity they were having. Played soccer against a legitimate team that was only investigators... We won and lost a good amount of times. Pretty balanced out. Ate some eggs... It was fun. Getting home was hard, but we made it happen. Just had to pay a little extra of course. Thursday night the people got together at the church in Nahualá to play some soccer. We went, and again...lost and won. Not too many complaints. I’m slowly getting better I think. Needless to say, I love soccer and that is all that matters really. Wish I would have played it longer when I was a kid.
Service continues to absorb our lives haha. Chopped wood a heck of a lot this past week. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday... Thursday we chopped for close to 3 hours. Tired us out, but hey! It made my body feel really good. Chopping wood really is like the perfect exercise. Saturday we even helped make a "Chicken Cage". By that I mean a literal cage for chickens. Didn’t quite finish, but it is basically done. Just needs a door and a roof. We'll see how they decide to do those... Guatemaltecos are really creative when it comes to things like that. After working on the cage, we bathed in another steam room. This time around it felt a little more sketchy, but we are both alive... No permanent side-effects thankfully :)
Good news. Juan, the guy who was going to be baptized on Saturday, has a legitimate date for this Friday, May 4th. He changed from Saturday because his mom wasn’t going to be able to make it to it, and he really wants her to be there. Good enough reason for me to change the date. The invitations were made Saturday and passed out yesterday, so it is a done deal basically. Nuñez and I are both quite excited about it. Friday will be a great day...
I’m still eating "Baliadas" like crazy. It is basically the only thing that Honduras is famous for in the food terms. I’m sure Little Billy has eaten a ton... I’m pretty sure I know how to make them. They are a lot easier than pupusas haha. We ate them 3 nights this past week. Last night we had a big little marathon of making them with a member family. It was a lot of fun. Found out there that "Bit", but pronounced "beett" means fart in Quiche. Weird, but funny haha. Anyways, hope all is well and that everyone is continuing to be happy. Two weeks until my last phone call home - crazy. Love you all and miss you all!
Take care my loves, Elder Bitner
Sticker that brought the bad news
This is how the package came
Shirt from Derek

Baliada

Making Tortillas

Monday, April 23, 2012

Email 23 April 2012

Personas en la casa,
What's good? All is good here. For the most part at least... Life always has those little things that you don’t like to deal with obviously, but we always get through them. "Gracias a Dios". One of those things was the fact that I had to give the message in District Meeting this past week. Almost made it my entire mission without having to do such a thing. I was on a roll and then just had to go and break that streak for me.
I have realized something over the past 7 days. Nahualá reminds me of Cunén! Only because I get to chop lots of wood again :) Not really sure why I find it so fun, but I do and it's awesome. We chopped for some members this past week quite a few days. I lost my talents in that department, but they are on the return right now. Is there any way we can get a wood fireplace at home? That way I can have a reason to chop wood in AZ haha.
Another thing I have realized about Nahualá... The fact they speak a language I don’t understand is one thing...but because it is still "dry season" there is a ton of dirt/dust. You’d think I would be used to it because of Arizona deserts...but not really. There is a ton of wind in Nahualá because it is pretty high up. The dirt always manages to make its way into my house, which means sweeping is one of those hell-ish things I have to do now. Cleaning isn't really that big of a deal for me, but trying to sweep all this dirt all the time..... Happy to say that rain is still here, so the "rainy season" is almost here :) Yay.
We got a phone call this past week from one of the assistants. They put a new task to be carried around in out minds with us. We have to find a new house...for future missionaries. At the end of this change (in 2ish weeks now) they are going to be putting in another pair of missionaries in Nahualá to cover one of the wards. We aren’t sure how it is going to happen still, but we have been looking for a house. They almost don’t exist there. We have 2 options and I would not want to live in either...so I hope I stay in the house I’m in at least.
Saturday night I did something for the first time in the mission. There are these things here in some parts that people bathe in. When I was in Colo they were called "Chuns" or something like that...and here in Nahualá they are called "Tuks". They are little buildings somewhere on their property that serve as saunas or steam rooms. Usually they are very, very small, but this one was decent sized!, so I managed to fit alright :) It was a hot little room. They have a pile of burning hot rocks in the corner and every-so-often you throw hot water on top of them to produce the steam/vapor, while you hold a bowl of cold water to splash on your face and body so you don’t get burned from the steam. They can get very hot. Felt amazing though... I now want one in our backyard, so try to find someone that can build one or build one yourselves. They are very simple things haha.
Yesterday after church and lunch we went on a visit with the relief society of the Calvario Ward in Nahualá. We had to ride in a pick up forever to get to the house of where we were going. I got to stand on the bumper and hang off the truck, so I felt right at home. I loved Colotenango so much.... haha. Great times. Anyways, we made it to "El Rancho de Teja", which is where this family lived. They were recent coverts that haven’t come in a few weeks now. They only speak Quiche and live in a house without running water or electricity...so that gives you an idea of their situation among the others that live up in the small little place. It was a fun little trip though. My comp and I went and got water for them with the Relief Society. They get water out of these holes in the ground. Not like a well though...like just weird holes that are randomly there haha. Quite the walk to get the water too. Who knows how they do it all the time considering how old they are. I enjoyed it though.
That has basically been my week though. Our baptism still is set for this Saturday, but we'll see what happens with that. We are going to try and see him tonight to make things for sure, for sure. Just keep your fingers crossed :) haha. I love you all so very much and miss you all just as much. Hope all is well and that this week is a good one for you guys! Take it easy. Don’t worry. Be happy.
Love, Elder Bitner
Road so high - in the clouds
Getting water
Inside Steam Room

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Email 16 April 2012

Familia,
Still in Nahualá... haha. Good ol' Quiche talking. People have been teaching me little things though. On Saturday they taught me how to ask a girl to marry me. Ever since then, I have been popping the big question to everyone. Surprisingly there are a lot of rejections haha. Cool right? It is pretty fun to learn little things like that because they are really easy to remember. Trying to speak the thing fluently though? That is a very different story. Got some good news! We set a baptismal date with this guy named Juan this past week... Come to think of it, almost all our investigators names are Juan hahaha. This one is the husband of a member, so it would be really good if he follows through with it so he can get sealed someday in the temple with his family. It is scheduled for the 28th... We're really hoping that it works out. He looks positive about it, but it isn’t a for sure thing sadly. This past week we started to read the Book of Mormon throughout the mission. We have 40 days to read it...so we have 33 left. I’m a little ahead of schedule, so all is well. I didn’t think I would keep up very well because of love to mark things, but I’m doing well! We also had the goal of contacting 40 people this past week. By contacting I mean putting a follow-up appointment with them. Out of the 40 we got 31... It is really hard to talk to people in Spanish while they respond in Quiche. They are intelligent enough to not let us know that they speak Spanish, so they just speak in Quiche until we walk away. Rain is on its way. Rained a ton this past week. Thursday we almost didn’t even leave the house... It was pouring for over 4 hours nonstop. It was crazy cool. I’m happy it is back because now everything will be green again :) Right before I leave. Perfect timing. Saturday night we were at another dinner appointment, when everyone started screaming in Quiche and ran out of the house. Nuñez and I were just like what? haha. We had no idea what was happening, but turned out that the electricity shorted and almost started a fire. It was shooting out a ton of sparks and having mini-explosion sounding things. It was very weird. I just wish the people would have said something in Spanish to us at least... Luckily we left out of curiosity, so we managed to survive :) Life is going well though. Have thought about home a lot this past week, so that is kind of sad for me haha, but hanging in there and loving all that I can! Take it easy everyone. Happy late B-Day to Derek! haha.
With much love, Elder Bitner

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Email 9 April 2012

Nahualá

Hi,
Life is alright... Hope you all had a Happy Easter! I forgot about it. Remembered at like 7 p.m.
Well, I’m no longer in El Prado. I received emergency changes this past Thursday. I mentioned last week that my companion, Elder Conte, was going to be having an interview Monday night. After the day was up, we went over to the mission home. He wasn’t in there too long... Then President said he wanted to talk to me for a moment. I of course said that would be fine. In my short interview, he mentioned that I would be with Chacón alone for a few weeks. I told him it would be fine, so I thought that was what was going to happen. He also talked to me about my plan for when I get home. That made me homesick-ish haha. Ridiculous... Anyways, we got the phone call Wednesday night saying that Chacón and I were to have changes the next day. I was not ready to leave my area. President told me my new area and new companion on the phone though. Thursday when we showed up to the terminal, I was met by a few people. One of them being my new companion. His name is Elder Nuñez and is from Honduras. I’m training him... He has been trained one change, but in our mission you have to be trained 2 changes now to be a normal missionary. Therefore, I’m training him for his second change. Yay... haha. We are in a place called Nahualá. It is the closest area to the central mission (where Ryan is), so that is kind of neat. According to the map I have, it is the highest point on the Central American Highway or something like that. Pretty crazy.
The new area isn’t too bad. We live in the boundaries of a ward called Calvario. Our house is surprisingly very nice... We also cover a branch though called Xeraxon (pronounced sh-air-uh-shon). That means... 5 hours of church every Sunday. Wouldn’t be all that bad, but the problem is the meetings are held in K'iche (Quiche). I don’t understand anything... A great place to learn more Spanish....not! It is a very poor place over all. They all wear the corte deal and speak the dialect.
The weirdest thing about church yesterday was the fact that there were 3 guys attending - one who was born in Malad, Idaho (lives in West Valley, Utah) and the another from American Fork, Utah. No idea about the other one. The two that I actually talked to were down for their wives' brother's wedding.
Finished reading a book about Josh Hamilton who is a baseball player for the Texas Rangers. It is a book he wrote about overcoming addiction. It is called Beyond Belief. Bergeson's girlfriend sent it to him and he let me borrow it. It was a great book. Something that would help a lot of people out if they knew about it. He has quite the story... It is amazing where he has come to be.I would like if you guys bought it for me. That would be something nice and small to come home too haha. I also got my suit :) It is beautiful and fits great. Can’t wait to wear it July 12th. Will be great! I also got the stuff I ordered from the place called Todos Santos. Turned out awesome too. I got lots of stuff to come home with. Pretty legit... Let me know if there is anything you guys want me to look for.
Well, hope all continues to go well. Happy birthday to Derek this week! Almost 30... Craziness.
Miss you all and love you all!
Wish me luck in Nahualá,
Elder Bitner
My trio... Kid to the left=Elder Chacón. Kid to right=Elder Conte.
Elder Nuñez
Waterfall in Nahualá

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Email 2 April 2012

David's view of Conference
Oh Hello,
Where to start? Things have been very interesting this past week...
I am in the "trio. I’m still with Conte and he is still awesome. Love the kid... The new kid his name is Elder Chacón, and he is from El Salvador.
So Conte had an interview on Friday at the Mission Home. It was interesting... It was with the mission nurses too. All they talked about really was his back problems. Looks like he is going to have to go to the capital to figure things out. Conte has another interview tonight at 6. Who knows why, but we'll be at the mission home yet again today. Yay for us :/
Things in the area were good this past week. We had two activities. On Wednesday we had an Elder's Quorum activity. Played some soccer... Had a little "barbeque"... It was good because we got some inactive members to show up. Nice, right? Then on Thursday, we went to our Ward's mutual. The youth played volleyball :) It was a lot of fun. Our Bishop invited to go because the youth were going to bring friends and what not. We found 4 news that night. Worked out well :)
Now to the conference! General Conference was awesome this time around... I loved it. Weekends are so much better here when it is General Conference time. Can’t describe how much better I feel now after watching it over the last couple of days. Out of all the sessions I have 5 favorite talks. Henry B. Eyring's from Sunday morning... Monson's from Priesthood Session. Uchtdorf's from Sunday morning...and then both Ballard's and Haleck's from the afternoon session Sunday. It was awesome. Hope you were all able to see a good portion of the whole thing! I’m excited for the next round of them. I’ll be home, which will make it even better! haha.
"Acting on even a twig of faith allows God to grow it." -Henry B. Eyring. My favorite quote from the weekend.
Anyways, sounds like all is going pretty well for everyone. Hang in there and keep enjoying life. There will always be problems...but we will always have God to help out.
Take it easy guys. Love you all so very much.
Smile :)

Elder Bitner
Bake Shop (American) - snacks during Conference
New Corte Backpack


Inside the Mission Home

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

21st Birthday Email 26 March 2012


Bosque Zone
 Heeeelllllllooooo,
What up folks? The week went well... Had some interesting changes to it, but everything is still good. Maybe even better to be honest haha. That is for now at least.........
So my age has officially reached the 21 peak of life. The birthday went really well though. I even got a couple gifts! My bishop, Elvis, gave me this wallet thing – cool thing. The second counselor in the ward (he lived in Mesa a long time...he only talks to me about Arizona and how it is his "real" home haha) and his wife gave me this shirt that says, "guat's up", like what's up... then it says Guatemala underneath it. I love it haha. Such a sick shirt.
Anyways, the actual day of my birthday was extremely random. Got a phone call at 9 a.m. from President Bautista... He then talked to my companion, and we found out that he was going to be having emergency changes that very day at 1 p.m. I thought to myself, "Well...there goes my birthday." So much for having a happy birthday, right? He packed his bags and we showed up to the mission home at 1. They were having a "training meeting", so we both got to stay there. The reason for the changes was that the kid that was training had a back problem. Compressed a disc in his vertebrae or something to that extent, so he was going to have to be in Xela in order to be close to all the doctors and what not. So Celis (my comp) went to take his spot training in Huehue, and the kid with the back problems is now my comp. His name is Elder Conte, and he is from Panama. I love the kid... He is really cool and we get along a lot better than most haha. It is a nice feeling being with him. Supposedly we are going to have to go to a bunch of doctor’s appointments, so he can get treatments to help out his back. I’m perfectly fine with that.
All those events made me miss my birthday lunch... I was not a happy camper. I didn’t even eat a lunch on my birthday. I almost had to even go to Huehue with Conte to get all of his stuff because they didn’t even tell him about the whole plan until he got to Xela. But I explained to the assistants that it was my birthday and that the Relief Society of my ward had planned a surprise birthday dinner for me...so they let me stay. I was with Cuellar and Bergeson for 2 days! It was AWESOME to say the least haha. We had a lot of fun. The birthday was really good in the end, but the morning part of it and early afternoon was miserable.
That was all the craziness of the week... Elder Conte didn’t get to the area until Thursday night, so we have just been getting to know the area and what not since then. It is going good though. No progression with anyone thus far, but plans are becoming deeds and frustration is becoming happiness. Life is good.
Thanks again to everyone for the birthday wishes. I did get the big package from you guys. Loved everything. I've already worn all of the ties believe it or not. In fact, I’m wearing Rachel's and Bobby's gift right now. Has made a lot of the others jealous haha. It was a great package :) Thanks a lot!
Anyways, thanks for everything. You are all the best.
Much Love,
Elder Bitner :)
Birthday Dinner
Birthday Cake
Pretend Birthday Cakes - notice 2 candles and 1 candle
Dream Soccer Team
Guatemalan Women washing clothes