I hope things are great for yall! I had an exciting week!! Here are a few highlights:
1. CHANGES!!!! I got changes and am now in my final area -- weird right? I’m in area Muluá, zona San Felipe. It’s like in the middle of Reu and Mazatenego, my other 2 areas, ha-ha. I’m in the Brillantes Ward and we share with a pair of elders. This ward is an AWESOME ward -- by far the best-organized I’ve ever seen here in Guatemala. Wow. This is my first full bishopric with bishop, 1st and 2nd counselors, and secretary. The ward mission leader is great and has really organized the ward-mission force -- we have lots of ward missionaries AND they go and teach and visit the investigators and recent converts, AND they actually do it! We had a meeting sat. night with the ward mission leader and all the ward missionaries and us 4 full time missionaries, and it ward really cool to have that "teamwork feel" with ward members and to hear the members excited to baptize and talking about our monthly baptism goals and such. I fee like Im on another planet here. There were even ward programs handed out in Sac. mgt. Ive never seen anything like this. Now I have no excuses...
My comp is Hna. Cuzco from Ecuador -- cool huh? That’s one cool thing about the mission is that you meet people from everywhere. I’m her "stepmom" or 2nd comp, she’s only got 3 months on the mish, but she’s super sweet and a great missionary and we are getting along great!
Muluá is different from my other areas because it’s just a teensy little area. My whole mission I’ve been in big(ish) cities -- Reu has 2 stakes -- and now I’m in a spread out community that makes up one big ward. There really aren’t stores here, only for the most basics. But it’s a nice area, I’ve always loved the small-town feel. I like a lot of things about our house here, -- it’s a lot smaller than our last house, which I like, and very simple. Our "kitchen" is just a table with a small electric stove on top, a mini fridge, and of course the pila (the giant sink thing used for washing dishes, clothes, babies, dogs, etc.) One thing about our house that’s a little different is the water situation. Out in the boonies around here, the water is organized in such a way that it comes at different times for different parts of town. For us we only have running water from 11 pm to 8 am. Luckily, part of the function of the pila is to store several gallons of water, so it’s not really a big deal. But (and I say thins not complaining, just describing my afflicciones like Nephi always does), one of my very favorite, most enjoyable things to do my whole mission has been to come home after a long and sweaty day to a nice cold shower. Oh how I loved and took for granted the blessing of always having running water. And now I can’t. I still take a bucket shower at night, but it’s not the same, and not near as refreshing, and I’m not getting near as clean...Sigh. But oh well, we’ve got much more important things to worry about here. But oh how I miss my nightly shower. Also our toilet doesn’t flush without dumping water in, so that’s another pain. OH WELL!
2. I got SICK! Oh my poor comp. She’s very capable even though she’s new, but I have been ZERO help to her since I got here because I don’t know anyone of course, and of course, Saturday we have a baptism in the morning and an activity in the afternoon, and I wake up super sick from something I ate the day before, so I was throwing up, had diarrhea, fever,etc. Apart from the parasites I had back in January, this is the only other time I’ve gotten sick (which has got to be some kind of record around here by the way). So my comp basically did everything all by herself Sat. I went to the baptism, but like couldn’t even stand to sit straight in my chair, and then I went home to rest and a nice member stayed in the house with me, and then I went to the activity and just sat there and tried to at least appear friendly. Everyone in the ward who knows I was sick thinks I’m really delicate -- "oh the change in the food here" even though I’ve lived in Guatemala basically for forever. And those who didn’t know probably think I’m kind of rude...but agh whatever. Great first impression right?
It’s always funny to have changes because you have to start over and answer all the basic questions, one of them being "do you eat tortillas?" I mean, DUH I eat tortillas. That would be like asking a missionary in America if the like to drink something with their food. Tortillas are always present, and of course I eat them. Ha-ha these crazy people.
I’m really excited to be in this ward because I’m going to learn A TON!! We apparently have lots of investigators. I’m getting to know them right now. I’m excited and not feeling "baggy" or "trunky" at all, just wanting to work. I really love being a missionary and testify that this is God’s work. I’m so grateful to be here. I love the gospel, and I know that it’s true and can bless everyone’s lives. My last area, Las Palmas, was really hard. But I learned so much and had such great experiences that I will never forget. I just love it. Have a great week all of you!
Love, Hermana Gilland