Warm and Sunny Christmas Temps in Guatemala this Year – December 23, 2014

This week we had 266 contacts, and 74 families. We had divisions and I was with Elder A this last Friday. It was a very good day, and I enjoyed the experience of leading the area. We found a family that was very positive that night.
We´ve also seen miracles with our church attendance. On Sunday, before church, we went to check on a man we found last week and taught once; he was all ready to go with us. We didn´t even talk about how we dress for church or anything, but we found him in slacks and a polo, shaved and ready. That was pretty cool.

To tell you some about Guatemala: it actually hasn´t rained in almost two months in Villa Hermosa. We´re in the dry season, so the sky is clear and the sun beats down, and it´s actually alot like home in the summer because we´re at a similar altitude too.

Culturally, it´s interesting. The food is good. It´s also all very simple. There´s not a lot of spicy stuff. Did I tell you the word Chapin? It´s the nickname that Mexican´s made up many years ago in derision for Guatemalans, but Guatemalans like it so they call themselves Chapins. Chapin food involves hot corn tortillas with about everything. I´ve eaten spagetti and pasta type stuff a lot. They also eat alot of bread. Pan Frances, French bread. There´s also a type called pan dulce, that has a lot of sugar. Bread is dirt cheap here. One quet is about 13cents usd, and you can buy 4 little pan dulces with 1 quet. Or a piece of pan frances that´s about the size of one of the hoagie buns we´d eat at home.
This week I´ve been trying to focus on working. Just working. Not thinking about anything but that we´re going to find people and baptize them. It´s also easier now that I´m out of training. In training for the first twelve weeks you need 2 hours of companionship study, so we´ve been getting up at 5:30 in the morning. Now we can get up on time, and we should have more chances for language study too.
We´re planning to baptize this kid Daniel on Sunday.  It´s for a fourteen year old boy, named Daniel.. His difficulty has been that he was worried about his parents, and being the only member in his family. But he´s been coming to church for four weeks, and he has been making friends. We went yesterday to talk to him, and found his mom at home. We had brought a recent convert (our varon), so we helped his mom with some household chores and then talked to her about Daniel getting baptized. She had no objection. We put the time of the service later in the evening on Sunday. She and her husband should be able to come and support their son in his choice to be baptized.
And thanks for the Christmas package. That was the strangest feeling to open the box and see all the stuff. I´m waiting until Christmas to open the wrapped stuff, but I am using the backpack. It´s awesome. Thank you so much Dad. I´m sure it´ll be wrecked in 20 months, but I´ll put it to good use.
I hope you have a Merry Christmas, I am looking forward to Skyping, Mom and Dad. To everyone else. Look at the carpet on the floor and be grateful… And sweep the kitchen for Mom and imagine doing that for the whole house!
Christmas SillyChristmas
Elder Schafer

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