It feels like it has been a long time since I last wrote. It’s gone up and down and back up. We had some interesting drama this week; one of the guys in the new wave which arrived two weeks after mine punched his companion. They had already been meeting with el Presidente for a while. But it blew up. So the kid who threw the punch got sent home. One week in the mission. I really don’t know all the facts. From what I’ve seen, the guy who got hit was abrasive and annoying, but he really does care about being here. The one who left gave me the impression that he was rather immature and didn’t know why he was here.
Resilience is what you need out here. Being able to breathe in, put aside something that’s getting at you, and moving on to work on something else.
The drama continued. The kid who got sent home talked about another elder he’d heard hadn’t turned his camera in. A district almost ended up sent home because of that camera. They didn’t do anything really bad (no bad pictures); it was just something that was misinterpreted, but it wouldn’t have happened at all if the one elder had just turned in his camera.
So that was the major drama of the week. Thankfully, that district was not sent home, and now they are traveling to or beginning their first day in the field.
Other than that it has been just another week. I did forget to tell you about the teacher we’ve had for the last two weeks though. His name is Hermano E, he’s from Guatemala. He’s pretty tough. Before his mission he was a pro-footballer for Quetzaltengo’s team. Now, after his mission, he doesn’t play because the games are on Sunday. Instead he teaches here.
The first night we had him (and almost every night since) he’s taken us out to the gym and had us do push-ups and shout ‘Español es muy facil!’ or ‘Bautizar!’ It’s a little weird, but it’s chill.
Hermano has told us that he writes poetry, and he’s working with his former mission president to get his missionary journal published in the US. He’s also trying to get a job as a columnist for a newspaper. He wants to become President of Guatemala… and he’s serious. He told one of the other elders in the district that he wants to change the mindset of the people of Guatemala, so that they don’t just work to survive, but work for something better than they have.
He said if he’s elected president that he’d offer Guatemala to the United States for free (I don’t thing we really would take it, but it’s a nice thought). He also is serious when he says he expects to be assassinated in his political career. Needless to say, I find him a fascinating guy.
What else happened this week? Oh! On Sunday we got to watch ‘The Testaments.’ You know that church movie, where Christ comes and ministers in the Americas. I invite you to watch it, and imagine a roomful of Elders cracking up whenever the boy flirts with the girl.
It was good, and it was a spiritual movie. It really was a pretty cool thing to get to watch an actual movie though. We are content with some simple things here.
Which reminds me. Yesterday was Guatemalan Independence Day. Sadly we were disappointed; there were no crowds in the streets in our part of town. No gunshots. Not even fireworks. But anyway; because it’s a holiday, the neighbors to the CCM don’t work, and get to sleep in. On days they sleep in, we can’t play basketball in morning deportes. But a group of bored elders will find something to do.
We found a broken broom handle, a few rocks, and after making the requisite jokes about broken teeth, proceeded to play a miniature version of baseball on the basketball court. Each inning was only one out, and you could only speed walk to the bases. It’s was pretty fun… See? The simple things in life.
Next week will be the last p-day for about two weeks. The next week we leave on Tuesday morning, so I won’t have another chance to write until after conference. I hope I haven’t forgotten anything. I’ll write you again in one week, and the next I’ll be out in the country. Exciting and terrifying.
Elder Dreyton Schafer