Monday, April 30, 2012

Email 30 April 2012

Invitation for Baptism
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


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 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 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 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

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 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


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