First things first, the crazy story. On Friday morning, in Villa Hermosa, we got a call from the Assistants; a new Latino missionary from Rio Bravo, Tiquisate was leaving… and Elder Schafer has emergency changes to switch spots with him.
So I packed Friday morning during language study, and said goodbye to the converts and members as we visited throughout the day.
(Attached is a picture with an inactive member who we got to go to church last week. He calls himself ‘Puro lamanita’)
Then, Saturday morning, I got up and got picked up by the Assistants at six, then went on a merry drive across the mission as they did other emergency changes. We went to Esquintla, down to the beach at Sipiqaje, and finally I got dropped off here in Rio Bravo, Tiquisate. Yep, an area called Angry River.
Oh, and Daniel should have been baptized in Villa Hermosa, yesterday, if he passed his interview with President. Elder S. is supposed to send me pictures.
This is very different than Villa Hermosa. It`s hot here. Very hot. The area is huge, and we`re in a tiny branch. The only really faithful member is the branch President. They baptize like crazy here, but it`s mostly children or people who stop coming after they`ve been confirmed. There have been missionaries here for years and years, but people still just come to the water.
The house is very nice, but they were painting the last two days, so most of it is filthy right now. Yesterday on Pday, I worked very hard, and managed to get the kitchen cleaned. My mom would be proud. I cleaned out the fridge, the little cabinet to store food, all of the counters, and I got cleaning supplies for the dishes. And I bought a ton of food. So Hopefully I won`t starve.
Picture stolen from Elder R’s blog. It was taken about a month ago.
I`m with another gringo. My third, his name is Elder R. He`s very relaxed. Right now I feel kind of lost. But I`m working. My goals are to get to know the area, (Elder R will be finishing his mission in April), and trying to animate a nucleus of members to be very active.
The people, all of them, are very nice. No one shuts the door in your face like Villa Hermosa. And if you ask them to go to church, they actually do it, about 3 times. That`s why this place is a baptizing factory.
They have these mototaxis here in Central America, and in Guatemala, they call them toc-tocs .There`s a union of mototaxi drivers here in Rio Bravo. Apparently someone is working an extortion thing with them. The prices are all jacked up to meet whatever demands, and because they`re organized and not in competition. I`ll tell you more about Rio Bravo as I learn more.
But that`s my crazy life now. The other hard thing about this place is that the work is so slow. The last three days have taken forever. But I`m going to work hard to implement everything I`ve learned, and the teaching skills I`ve gained over the last few months.
I just feel really weird. This is a strange experience, and a very sudden change. Like a fish out of water. I`m just working right now, and resigned to make the best out of what I`ve been dealt.
It feels like I`m on a frontier. A white guy sent a thousand miles to a hot, dusty place where he`s supposed to accomplish something and leave it better than he found it. That`s such a grossly imperialistic image. And ethnocentric.
Look, I`m not working hard enough. I have energy to be sarcastic.
I know I`m just kind of rambling. My head feels like it`s about to explode from the last few days. It`s extremely hot and humid here. And there`s so much to do.
But I remain faithful in Christ,