Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Email 27 February 2012

What up¡? Guatemala is still a fun little place if you were wondering. No problems thus far. Turns out I hit the big 19 tomorrow, so that is kind of exciting :) This week has been about the same as last week, but a little more fun. Have really enjoyed it...
It all started with our Zone Meeting Tuesday morning. Bergeson's first one as our Zone Leader. It was a lot more fun than most to be honest. We all showed up early and then Bergeson cooked us all French toast! It was a nice little morning because we just got to chat and eat some food. After the food portion though we had the message portion. Good messages... I was rather impressed with Bergeson. It was pretty cool.
Tuesday night our lunch appointment for Wednesday called us... Asked us what we wanted to eat. Caught me by surprise, so I didn’t know what to tell them. Asked my companion, and he said chicken. That is what I told him... After I hung up though, I realized that was really dumb because we already eat chicken just about every day. Don’t know why he wanted it again....but it did turn out really good.
We got a new Zone Leader this week. When we were doing shopping for the week, Bergeson's companion got a phone saying he had emergency changes. Berg's new companion and our new Zone Leader is Elder Cuellar! He is one of the Latinos that were with us in the CCM. I’m sure I wrote home about him at some point because he was my favorite one there :) We still are good friends now too, so two of my best buds in the mission are my Zone Leaders now. Pretty legit right?
Thursday we did a bunch of service. I never even got into my "missionary attire" the entire day, so I felt somewhat weird. In the morning we had planning, so we didn’t even leave because of that...but at lunch time we left the house in our service clothes because right after we were going to go straight to do service. We ended up being at the service until 6:40ish, so knowing it was late we just passed by the house of one of our investigators really quick in normal clothes. They were quite surprised, but we didn’t have time to go home to change to be to the appointment on time...Therefore, we just went. Then after visiting there we just went home. Very strange day... I felt pretty weird. My recent covert did sew up my pockets on my jeans though, so I no longer have big ol' holes:)
Friday we did divisions with Bergeson and Cuellar. Bergeson came to my area and my companion went to his area. They were pretty fun. The purpose was to show them how small our area actually is... They now see how small it is haha. Berg and I made pupusas with the Sister's though, so that was fun. Also, we ordered pizza...so that too was obviously fun haha. I really get along with Bergeson so well. It is weird to me. It seems like we knew each other before the mission! He and Shaw though have really become two of my best friends. They are two I will for sure never lose contact with.
Saturday at our lunch appointment, we received something extra special. As we were leaving, the lady said to me, "You're from Arizona right?" I said, "Yes..." She responded, "My husband found this soda that he always drank there. He says it is his favorite... Have you heard of it?" She pulled out a can, and it happened to be Dr. Pepper. I explained how it was my favorite, so in return she gave both of us one to take on the go. It was delicious :) haha.
Saturday night we played with modeling clay ("Play-Do") with our recent converts for a good while. Amy, the little girl, was laughing her head off. We were having a really good time. I even made myself out of the stuff. Sadly I was the worst sculptor though.
Church was good too. Same ol' stuff. My best buddy from the ward that moved to the capital was back visiting. So it was nice visiting with him... We are getting a new Ward Mission Leader next week, so we'll see what happens with that.
Life is good though. As always... Still loving my area and everything. Hope all is well for you guys back home! Take care please and be happy :) Enjoy the week.
Love you all,
Elder Bitner

Monday, February 20, 2012

Email 20 February 2012

Hey there folks,
Not going to lie, not much exciting has happened this week. Almost nothing in fact... Still got to write something though, so we'll see what I can come up with.
As you know, I didn’t have changes last week. I stayed where I am. I mentioned though that Bergeson was going to have changes. He ended up not going too far... haha. He is my new Zone Leader here! The kid was not very happy when finding that out, but he is hanging in there. We all think it is pretty funny he ended up becoming our zone leader. I’m just really happy he didn’t leave the zone after all. I can still talk with the man. Exciting. Also, my MTC companion, Sicotte, is my new District Leader, so that too is interesting. I’m surrounded by people that came to the mission with me. Loving it! Means I have a good relationship with them. The kid in the Pupusa picture from last week is also in my zone now. My zone is a fun one right now because of the people in it. Lucked out this time around.
About the most fun thing we have done would be service... I don’t know how I find that fun now. We helped this lady in the ward move around her store a bunch to make it a little more comfortable for her. Looks a heck of a lot better than it did. Pretty amazing the change to be honest. I even have been helping her make some signs to hang around the place saying some of the things that she sells that people can’t see. I’m not prideful of my computer skills, but they look good for this place haha. We also have been helping the lady we baptized paint the inside of her house. On Saturday we started...We have only finished the kitchen though. Quite a bit more rooms to go... It is looking good though, and is making her happy. So the time really doesn’t matter all that much in the end. The fact that we are helping in general just makes it all the worthwhile.
Helped this other kid in the ward translate some things in the family minivan. They didn’t understand what some of the lights meant, so they asked the "canchote". Lucky me haha. They actually gave us a ride to Stake Conference yesterday in that minivan. My first time in a minivan since I entered the MTC. Felt weird haha. Stake Conference was cool though. President Bautista was there and so was the Temple President.
Everyone asks for my help on English homework. This past week I filled out a packet of English worksheets for our Bishop's son. Obviously I can’t say no to him... Then a lady that we buy drinks and snacks from a lot asked me to do her sister's English homework. Ridiculous...
That has been my week. Nothing too big as you might have realized. We are in the process of trying to find new people to teach, so hopefully we will find some pretty positive people to baptize in this next little bit. We'll see...
Hope all is well back there. Happy birthday to Grandma on Friday! 73…
I love you all.
Elder Bitner

Monday, February 13, 2012

Email 13 February 2012

Miriam Patricia Vasquez Garcia and her daughter, Amy Gramajo Vasquez
Hey everyone,
For starters, we found out changes last night. Elder Celis and I are staying together another 6 weeks it looks like haha. We are both pretty happy. It should be fun. I mean, we haven’t had any problems with each other as of now, so I can’t really complain too much. Life is good in "El Prado".
The baptisms did go through :) Miriam Patricia Vasquez Garcia and her daughter, Amy Gramajo Vasquez, were baptized Saturday! My old companion, Elder Callejas, came down to baptize Patricia, and then his old companion, Elder Austin (his trainer), baptized the daughter. Together they found Patricia and Amy knocking doors. That just goes to show that there is some hope out there for tracting haha. On Saturday though, Callejas came a little early with his companion (Elder Bosh-who is one of my best buds here) to eat at our lunch appointment with us. It was delicious and fun because the four of us were there. Then Bosh and I got the church ready, while our comps went to get the "baptizees". I made invitations for the event. Austin and his comp made their bus back to Momostenango, but Callejas and Bosh missed theirs to Quiche so they had to stay the night with us, which was actually a lot of fun to be honest. Just because Bosh and I are always having fun. We went out to eat... We were up really late talking, which made waking up early so they could get back at a decent time really hard.... It was fun haha. The baptism was good though. Patricia and Amy looked really happy :) They were worried about Amy because she was sick, but we had the water warm and everything so it went really well. Good day... Really good day. Came to church Sunday and got the Holy Ghost, so they are official members! This work is pretty neat if you think about it haha.
Anyways, let's see. I bought some A&W Rootbeer this week. That was a nice, lucky purchase haha.
We were with this one family that said something pretty funny. I was showing them the picture I have of my family (The one from Christmas a few years ago), and they all thought Grandaddy was my dad because he supposedly looks younger than you, Dad haha. Don’t take that offensively, but it was a funny little moment. I don’t see it, but they sure did. They say I don’t look like anyone in the family either. Guess I should change my name from Bitner to something else haha.
On Wednesday we had a conference with President Bautista. We just went over the exact same things we talked about with Elder Falabela. I guess it was a good little reminder. We all enjoyed it. The best part was going to a really nice bread place here in Xela. Soo good...
Lunches this week were good. The best two were Tuesday and Friday. Tuesday, the lady made us homemade lasagna (basically American status) with garlic bread. I ate so much that day... Then on Friday we ate with the Sister missionaries at this lady's house. She ordered us some really delicious Chinese food. It was amazing! Chow-mein with shrimp, chicken, veges, beef, etc... It was good.
That has basically been my week. Saturday was obviously the best day because Patricia and Amy finally got baptized :) Now that I’m going to be here together another six weeks....looks like we have to find some more people to baptize. I guess we'll see what we can do.
Take care. Have a good week. Miss you guys!
Elder Bitner

Monday, February 6, 2012

Email 6 February 2012

My shrimp
Hey there friends,
Things are the same as usual... Luckily this past week has been a better one than the others. Really enjoyed it. Went really fast too. Go Giants! and Happy Birthday to Rachel tomorrow :) Too the week...
Good news first. We have 2 baptisms for this Saturday, the 11th. Patricia and her daughter finally said that they would get baptized! Exciting right? haha. We went and visited them on Tuesday night. I was just like, "So do you want to get baptized yet?" Surprisingly she said, "I’m pretty sure I do." I was a happy little guy. On Thursday we had another lesson with them. We even took a member... Pretty sure that visit helped a lot. The guy we took is super smart in the church. He may like to talk a bit much, but he is "pilas", which means awesome basically. She automatically opened up to him... Asked him to go visit her son. All kinds of stuff. It was crazy in my mind. She really liked the guy, and I really liked the fact that we took him there with us. Helped us out a too. They should actually get baptized on Saturday at 4, and I’m really happy for that :) It will be a good little miracle for me. Really excited for that day.
That was really the only good thing about the week haha. That is definitely the only thing that made it better than the others...but I did do some hardcore cleaning. My bathroom looks so good now. I’m still amazed every time I enter it haha. May have cut myself a few times doing the cleaning, but it was worth it in the end. I feel like I’m always the one that has to be doing the cleaning in all my houses though. Missionaries are very messy people. It can get pretty gross depending on where you are. Luckily, I haven’t had it too bad. I guess all my hard cleaning at home has really taught me something ;) hahaha we all know that didn't happen. I never helped clean really. Now I think I might...
Friday was my companion's birthday. Elder Celis turned 21... He is older than me, which makes me a little sad actually. We were able to have a good little day though. For breakfast, I bought him McDonalds, which is always good because McDonalds is one of the nicest places to eat in Guatemala. They really consider it high quality here. Weird? Very. For lunch we ate with our Bishop. He always goes all out. They gave us shrimp... That was a surprise to me. When his wife gave it to me, I was like, "How do I eat these?" haha. They had to teach me how to eat them... I actually thought they were really good, but after I felt like I had a slight allergic reaction to it. My throat felt all weird, so I took a Benadryl. Nothing happened really, but I’m slightly nervous to eat that kind of stuff. I plan on trying a bunch of it in the states now. I think I might actually like lobster, so I want to give at least that a try. Bishop also gave us cake and donuts though. They even had candles! haha. I paid for the both of us to get haircuts too, so we are both looking "fresh". Dinner was a food from Honduras called "baliatas" (I think that is how it is spelled at least). The Sister missionaries and their investigator/member family made them for us. They were really good. I’m sure Billy is eating those things like crazy... haha. But yeah, at the end of the day he was a happy little kid and so was I. I guess that means it was a "birthday success".
Something that has kind of came out of nowhere is stormy weather. Starting Friday night we have had rain and thunder and lightning every day. Right now it looks pretty clear out, but that will change within the next few hours or so. It always knocks out the power for a while too, so they are pretty intense storms. The thunder is probably some of the loudest I have ever heard, so it is quite cool for me since I love storms.
That has basically been everything though... As of now, we'll have 2 baptisms this week, and more in the near future hopefully. Changes are next week though, so we'll see what happens with that I guess. I got a feeling I might just stay put for another change, but we shall see.
Well, take care and enjoy this week. Be happy little people :)
Love Forever and Always,
Elder Bitner
A lady gave me a garbage bag for my head, borrowed umbrella for the picture
What it is like in all our power outages