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, 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 big! Love, Elder Bitner
Following the Pickup
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 " 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 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