Settling in for the Long Hot Haul

So I hear that you are deep in fog and inversion season back home. I have no sympathy for you people and your weather. When I left my last area, Villa Hermosa, a counselor in the Stake Presidency told me Usted va a ir a la lado de la puerta del infierno. (You will go to the door of hell.) It is killer hot and humid here near the coast.

Okay, first things first we had 347 contacts this week with 91 families. It`s been a good week. We`ve been looking very hard to find people who will come to church. We`ve also been working at reactivating the membership here in the Rio Bravo branch. This weekend we saw the miracle of 51 people in the church. Usually it is closer to 20. We were looking back over the data from the last few months and that`s the most in the church since November. We`re going to keep going, searching for people to baptize, and making sure there are members to support them too.

Last week on P day. We went on a hike through the cane fields. Attached are pictures. It was kind of like a hike through Vietnam. I`ll only eat cane once, since my dad tells me it will rot my teeth out.

River on Cane field hike

Hiking in CanefieldCanefield

We got the machetes that day. Yes, I did stop and think twice before purchasing it. I figure that someday I can teach a college class and give a lecture on The Machete: The Weapon of Genocide. And then relate the story of how I purchased one in a third world country while pulling out the aforementioned machete  and make them think about millions of people being killed with these things. At least that`s how I imagine it.

Me and my new MACHETE

It was funny. After we bought them, we walked past several schools crowded with small children. In another country, two large white foreigners with weapons walking past the entrance of a school might have aroused comment. Like police officers. But that`s just another day in Guatemala.

White foriegners. Reminds me. One day last week we were walking back in to town on the highway from a remote aldea. We saw three guys ahead in the gathering dusk, and one of them greeted us What`s up, Elders! They were three guys from the US. They`d hitchhiked from Antigua and were heading toward the beach. That was weird. Vagabond, world wanders. The same kind of people we saw at the Appalachian Trail Headquarters in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia last summer.

Yesterday was a good P day too. The house is always dusty. I have no idea where it comes from, but we cleaned even though it wasn’t that messy. We got our shopping done really fast, and were just hanging out at home. Elder R, my companion, asked me about Napoleon Bonaparte. Then he had the patience to listen and be interested while I indulged in an opportunity to use that neglected part of my brain. It was still there.

My Senior year in high school was a very nice year of school, because about all of my classes were things I was interested in. I got lucky in that I could, and I will get to make the things that I have to do and study, the same as my interests and hobbies.

So yeah. Here we are here. It be hot. We talk to lots of people with dirt floors, lamina walls and flat screen TVs. None of them come to church. Changes are the fourth of February. I`ll probably get a new companion. That will make three different areas and four different companions since I left the CCM (MTC) on October 1, four months ago.

We`re probably going to walk about 12 miles in total today when we go out to work with the people in the outlying villages surrounding Rio Bravo. Elder R. is bringing his step counter to see.

I love you all. And I hope the boys, are developing talents and interests other than youtube and computer games. All of the guys I`ve met played lots of games and didn`t have a lot of other hobbies. You could make them go hike through the desert/jungle with their scriptures in a white shirt and tie one day. That`s pretty much my life.

Hike through Cane Field

Oh yeah! We`re going to the temple tomorrow!! We need to get up at like 3am to get there. But WE`RE GOING TO THE TEMPLE!!

guatemala-city-mormon-temple11-thumb

Love you,

Elder Schafer

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