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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Week #3: Field Trip

My CCM companion - Elder Virgin and I.

The weeks and the days are starting to go by faster here and it seems as though no matter what we do, learn or experience it pushes time to the limit, making it go faster and faster each day.  There is no chance for idle-hands and we are excited for all that we are learning about the language, the culture, the people, The Gospel and most importantly about ourselves.

Last week on Pday we took a field trip to the oldest district in Guatemala City.  As we were on the way there we all noticed a lot about the way the world is here. Things are so radically different, than what most of us are used to both in culture and environment, in what we see, smell and hear.  I guess this is what traveller's call "culture shock" when experiencing new places and new things.  While I don't feel the "shock" part, it does make me think and ponder at the many differences in the world.  For example at one point we were stopped at a light and we looked out the window and saw an old lady popping a squat on the sidewalk and doing her business (not sure if there is a better literary term to explain this).  Moments later the "police" walked by her and they did nothing about the scene.  As we all looked around the city people began to let their amazement show through. Everyone began to realize just how great they have it back in the states. We would look at the walls all over the city and there weren't many without some sort of tag or vandalism on them. We would look at these apartments and see bars over every door and ever window and we saw the fear these people had as we looked into their eyes. It was a very humbling experience for us all and for those in my district we thought as to what our areas in the mission field has in store for us if this is one of the nicer areas in Guatemala.  Not that we are worried, we know that we are doing The Lord's work, and feel safe, and in time we will be more accustomed to the surroundings, but right then and right there being this one of the first experiences to see the city - it was a very interesting experience.

When we finally arrived in zona 1 we looked in awe at the historic architecture of the old buildings that surrounded us. We were all a little taken aback at the beauty.  After a few moments of stumbling over the buildings we went under the streets into the market area. The first section was like a giant farmers market complete with slabs of meat and fish hanging from hooks and all other sorts of fruits and nuts galore. As we went deeper into the market we found the parts that we were all anxious to see and when we came upon it our eyes grew frenzied at the amazing colors and variety of things that were in each of the small little shops. At first we all had to just looked around at all of the beauty that surrounded us, soaked it in for a time before the "work" began. I learned that day that I can haggle like there is no tomorrow. I brought the prices of jerseys down from 145 quetz to 80 in the matter of seconds. It got to the point that when those around me wanted to buy something they would have me do all of the haggling for them.  Pretty awesome experience if I say so myself and I ended up going home with a couple shirts, ties, a hacky sacks, and a couple of other sweet little nick nacks, all for a very conservative amount of quetz.

After we left the market, though we were all reluctant to do so, we went over to the Guatemalan Relief Map. It was kinda like a giant sandbox with mountains and rivers... a little 4 year olds dream.   We were told that the map was made in 1909 after 16 years of careful surveillance of the land. It is said to be 99% accurate which is pretty cool for that day and time, though I think that if they had just gone the extra mile they could have gotten to 100% accuracy.  But hey some people just love to take shortcuts. (I hope the sarcasm carried though in that).

Relief Map of  Guatemala

After the trip we headed back to the CCM for a volleyball tournament. It didn't turn out to be much of a tournament.  District Mateo (our district) ended up crushing all of the other districts.  The nearest competitor being the all-star team of the other districts combined. They managed to score 7 points in a game to 15. It was all very fun and it didn't really become too competitive.

District Mateo - Guatemala CCM

There is a lot that goes on through the days here.   Everyday we learn something and most of the time we learn something we thought that we already knew. When I get back the world will simply not be the same.

I will finish off for the week with a little funny for Chase.  Although little brother you are older and taller, I still think of you as a deacon, so here is some deacon humor.  Yesterday we were all in one of the CRE rooms here having a district meeting and as I have mentioned before we have a lot of beans and other forms of musical fruit making us all pretty musical after meals. We had been in this room for a while and had been playing the toons of the magical frijoles for quite some time when all of a sudden 2 of the hermanas walk into the room and asked if they can practice a musical number for us. We said yes of course and then one of the sisters made a remark that made the room explode in laughter.  She said and I quote "wow it smells good in here" we all died and couldn't gain control for a good 5 mins. Afterwards though they did sing and we were all totally amazed by their voices.

We are almost a complete 21 days into the mission and WE who are in the CCM cannot wait to venture out into the field.

My room at the CCM (see Mom, I CAN keep my room clean)


  1. I must be a deacon because I enjoyed the beans story.

  2. Enjoy the frijoles! Mucho frijoles