Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

Well..... so pretty much we are totally going to have a baptism of a family and I'm pumped - like super duper pumped! I haven't experienced a chapin Christmas yet but I'm sure I will in just a little bit. I will eat tons and tons and tons of tamales - of all sorts of goodness. I'm excited for this!

San Isidro is starting to get a little boring. There aren't any more secrets I guess. I've seen all of it so far - kind of. It doesn't have any more little hidden places but I should leave in 3 weeks. I have heard a rumor that I might be training. Holy crap that's a total nightmare. I can speak Spanish roughly but I can't fluently. Like I can get along but I still I don´t think I'm ready for anything like that yet ... but if it happens I'll do it.

Holy cow I love Monday because I can write in English and it is so nice to speak English sometimes. A lot of the time I come home from the day ready to sleep because I'm so drained mentally. Its all good because I always come home happy and that's good enough for me. This week I have thought a lot about family and home and how awesome families are. I've thought about every single one of you guys this week and everything you have taught me. You are all an incredible blessing to me in my life, especially now. All of you taught me something that is helping me become a better missionary. I was reading the Liahona in.... ESPAƑOL AND ENGLISH, because when I have no idea what its saying I make sure I can. But it had some great messages and there was one called" Because of Families" and it said because of families we receive some of our greatest blessings. I know one of them is to be sealed in the temple. That is in my opinion, one of the greatest gifts God has ever given us. We have to ability to be with those we love for all time and eternity.

I shall call tomorrow in the night supposedly around 8:00. The way they do it here is weird. It's just called "find a phone and call." I found a phone that, supposedly, has a lot of time for calling the
states. If not, you guys just need to call the number back. I'll call your phone I think, mom. I'm super excited but no one can cry, please. I hate it when people cry. I feel all weird and stuff.

My companion is super bomb. Did you know that Kaden and JJ are companions in the MTC? I wish I could have had that. Ky and I still keep in touch. I love that kid so much! When I get home I'm gonna ask his mom if I can go to pick him up.

I'm happy and it doesn't even feel like Christmas here because there is no snow or pine trees. Everything is always super green. Next week I'll have pictures. I forgot my camera today.I am so glad I'm serving a mission even though its Christmas but FELIZ NAVIDAD everyone have a good Christmas!!!!!!

Con amor,
Elder Grant!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Still in San Isidro

I had changes and am still in San Isidro but that's okay because it's a good place to grow. It's hard but it will make me a better missionary. The hardest part is it's slow and once again we are out of electricity. That is super fun... Well, I got macheted (chewed out) last night by the zone leaders. That was fun, too. Anyways, my new companions name is Elder Apaza. He is from Boilivia. Our views on government are a little different but that's okay because he is a stud and has a great view on the work. He is a great change to have. Without light, I guess that our area is dangerous but I don't believe it at all. So, we are just going to keep working because I really don't want to have another slow week and receive a macheteing again. We are going to baptize every week. This month's goal for the mission is to baptize 300 people. That's a ton of people and an awesome and totally real goal. So we can totally kick butt. Well, today I'm sad because my convert was super drunk. But on the good news side, we are starting to find people.

Sorry I'm always super scatterbrained. Sometimes it's really hard to focus with all that is going on. It still doesn't feel like Christmas but that is okay because we are going to Xetulu (an amusement park near Reu) for CHRISTMAS as a MISSION!!!

I have some flutes. Those are going to be really fun to figure out how to play. This place is wonderful and just awesome! Here are some answers to your questions. I pay a lady, who is not a member, for my laundry and that is really fun because sometimes she loses thing for like ever. hahaha Oh well. The weirdest thing I have eaten - you had better put this one on the blog - is ...Testicles of bulls and...wait for it....male goats!!!! I can pretty much only buy tortillas and nasty meat in my area. In Malacatan we can buy anything because there is a mall-ish thing. We eat with members every day. My Spanish is coming along just fine. I want to be fluent though. I've only been speaking for like two month. So, esta bien! The food here is SUPER unhealthy. Everything is OIL, OIL, OIL. My heart is filled with sludge now I guess. I hate Caldos. They are gross. It's just water and oil, and some meat.

I found a giant spider the size of my hand and it was black so that's already a bad sign, but it gets scarier! (Kinda like finding a hollow marshmallow) So, I got all manly and brave and stuff and pulled out my camera to take a picture and (did I mention we were on the river?) It FREAKING RAN ACROSS THE WATER!!!! Yes you read that right. It runs across water. That terrified me! I was petrified. Well not really but I ran away, high stepping it up to keep it from getting me. AHHHH!!!! I honestly questioned why God would have created something like that.

I want to thank you all for everything you have done for me. I know that without your examples I wouldn't be out here serving. I'm super thankful for this Gospel, too, because sometimes when you're out here and you can't see your family it gets hard but I know that we are going to be together forever as long as we do what's right. So, DO WHAT IS RIGHT!!!! It will be pretty bomb to live with you guys forever because we are pretty much a party.

I love the heck out of all of you and miss you tons!

Con Amor,
Elder Grant



Friday, December 7, 2012

A Spanish Dream!

I have GREAT news!I had a dream in all Spanish. That's awesome because I understood it all. That was a super bomb! I was way pumped with that. I got the Christmas package. WAHOOO!! Sorry Mom. I opened stuff. We had a party so I ate Nutella a little and I'm saving the rest for the ride to the change meeting. I also opened the t-shirt and man that thing is sick. Grandma, thanks for the decorations. I gave all but one out to some of my favorite families because well I just love everyone here. It's so great. And they all love them. I've got some Boise State fans down here now.
Christmas Display

A little bit of Christmas decorating
Tell Amber and Patti "Hi". I love those two. I'm super pumped for everyone getting their calls and getting ready to go especially Kaden and JJ. They go into the MTC on the same day. Crazy!!! I received an email from Lag today and he talked about how Kenna kicks butt - she is a very good young lady and smart and intelligentand hardworking.  I also got an email from Grandpa Erikson today that was unexpected and an amazing surprise. I love him tons. I just love everyone tons.

(I have a super big headache right now. I'm surrounded by a bunch of little kids that are playing computer games and screaming like crazy. AHHHH) Tonight I'll figure out if I leave or not. Weird experience of last night. So around 11 last night we got a phone call and my comp answered. It was some girl asking for me so I was like, "uh oh. This is not good." Just turns out President's daughter was calling missionaries she thinks are funny to talk to because she was bored. (Holy cow I'm about ready to kill these little punks! hahaha) It took me forever to fall back to lseep, like always. Oh well. I can function off of very little sleep anyways.

Beautiful country

I'm happy and healthy. I was sick a few days ago but refuse to stay in for being sick. I don't care if it kills me. Because the world is going to end in 18 days anyways. hahaha I just got done playing soccer today in a huge field in my area and it was sweet.

I'll explain the pictures of this week. First of all the ugly building...well that's the church thing that you can find on Google. It's called the Strong Tower Church. The church names here are freaking ridiculous and it's hilarious. There is also the Rains of Power Church and others like that. Stores have funny names, too, like the Little Store of Blessing.

I can't think too straight right now. I got this headache from playing soccer all morning and not drinking enough water. Like always, I pretty much stunk but I always have fun. When you look to have fun, life is so much more enjoyable. Like the mission. I actually scored a goal today. Then I made sure to do a flip/Tebow thing and then do the worm. I scored on a Latino and I am about as hardcore gringo as they come. It was great. Good thing I get money today so we can buy more water.
Strong Tower Church that you see on Google

We are still not having a whole lot of success right now but I have fun everyday. I always try to make people smile. I love smiles. They are so wonderful. Nothing in the world is like seeing someone smile, especially if they looked sad before. We found some awesome newbies this week and hopefully everything goes well with them. Well, my hour is almost up and I'm ready to leave. These little kids are sooooo loud. Love you all!!!

Con Amor,
Elder Grant

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thanksgiving

Well, this week has been slow again but it looks like it should be speeding up because we are starting to work with the members. First off I had Thanksgiving!!! Aw Yeah! It wasn't near as good as any Thanksgiving I have had before but it was still turkey that wasn't smothered in mole'. I love mole' but it was a nice taste from home. The apple pie was really good too. The dinner cost me 30 quetz which was totally worth it. But sadly, Thanksgiving caused some anger among an elder who is a little anti-American. Everyone else loved it and I did too. I'm not homesick though. I have trouble understanding getting homesick. As long as I am working I'm happy. I wish I could do more service but people here are very hard workers and won't let you help them.

I totally need to buy myself a hammock because they pretty much rock. I don't really want a bed anymore. Our landlord has a hammock and it's so comfy. I will definitely bring that stuff back for sure. It is still really hot here but that's alright. I just sweat all the time. It isn't so much humid now...just hot!

Right now our mission has about 180 missionaries especially since this mission is super tiny. I have heard that it's one of the smallest missions, area wise, in the world. But, it has a lot of people. In the next 5 months or so we are supposed to have around 250+ missionaries. That's crazy! I'm excited to see all the missionary work growing in the Church. I heard they are shooting for 300 missions, in total, in the world. I don't think Guatemala can have any more missions. It is just too tiny.

I'm totally digging Spanish. It is way fun to talk. The only problem is I don't know it yet. Hopefully I'll get it soon. My goal is to be really good by Christmas. I don't know how well that will workout. One of the hardest things is learning the subjunctive because we don't have that in English. It's really weird, but every day I improve a little bit. My guess is by the time I hit one year I should be pretty good. There are some kids who come out and never learn it but I pray that won't be me.

Only a week left until changes and I'm no longer a greenie. In fact, I'll be just a regular missionary. What's nuts is to think about how fast time flies. According to everyone else it just gets fast and faster. Manana we have interviews with Pres. Entrevistas!!!! I'm pretty pumped because Presidente rocks and rolls and jiggles when he laughs because he's a tubby man but a spiritual giant! I found out last week that I might be on my mission either two weeks more or two weeks less because we are lining up changes with all of Central America. I'll see how that goes.

I hope all is going well with you. Thank you so much for the prayers that I receive from ya'll. I miss you and can't wait to see you when I get back but I won't be leaving early.

Con amor,
Elder Grant

Doesn't this hammock look comfy? Are you jealous?
Apple pie for Thanksgiving dinner. Almost as good as home.

Thanksgiving Dinner complete with all the fixings. Worth the 30 quetz.

Another Tuc Tuc.
Cooking delicious food.

Me in front of an awesome waterfall.




Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Just Another Week

What's up my most favorite people ever! Well not a whole lot has gone on here except that it doesn't rain much anymore. Instead I just sweat constantly. That is super cool! not really but it's a fun experience because it's different.

Spanish is coming along just fine. I talk more and more in it every day. Which is good because I have a feeling my next companion will be Latino and then I'm going to be wishing I spoke better!

I'm just plugging along here. We haven't found newbies now for 2 weeks which is starting to drag me down. I've got to get this family we are teaching baptized or something. It is killing me with how slow our area is. Part of the problem is that people only sleep in my area. They work all day in Malacatan so I can't get with them because when they come home at 8, they sleep. PEOPLE SLEEP HERE SO MUCH! They are a super pilas family and I'm pumped about that. They haven't come to church yet. They have stopped drinking coffee which is a miracle because that's all people drink here. Instead the family has started to drink "morcaf" which is  like coffee but for mormons and has no caffeine. I wish our area was going faster but no one is accepting the message and its super sad because then I look like a chambon and I don't like that at all!

I'm almost out of training then I'm no longer a greenie which is awesome! Change meetings are super fun. Everyone screams and yells  - pretty much rocks! The pictures, I think, are of a torta and me climbing a water tower which was super fun. I also sent a picture of a little kid that is pretty much the coolest little chapin (guatemalan) ever! He can't wait to be a missionary. As he took my backpack he screamed, "soy elder!" which is "I'm an elder!" That was fun.  He's so cool! Well I was gonna count how many tortillas I eat every day but I lost count on Wednesday at 26 which is only 2 days of eating!!!!! WHAT?

It's about time for me to end. Sorry there isn't a whole lot going on this week but hopefully next week will be better! I've got one thing to say about Guatemala. It's super pretty. The only ugly thing are the building. You can look in the pictures haha!

Con amor
Elder Grant!

P.S. Holy freaking awesome!!!! I'm so pumped for Carly!!!!!!


A Delicious Torta. Yummy!

Climbing the Watertower


The coolest little Guatemalan ever.

It is so beautiful here.


Monday, November 12, 2012

The Sicktacular Earthquake


Well, I promise I'm going to write more this week because I have over 20 minutes. Whoa!!! Alright, first of all I am safe and sound! So no worries. I'll start about the earthquake. It was pretty much the most sicktacular thing ever. It was like a carnival ride. No one died here and there was no damage. San Marcos was hit hard because all of their buildings are made of adobe. It got destroyed and on a map it is really close but it takes like over two hours to get there. The roads here stink. When the earthquake happened I knew for a fact that the next morning the news was going to say "Terremoto en Guatemala" (earthquake in Guatemala). We had a little damage here. One of the tiles from the false ceiling, at the church, fell and broke. We want to do service but there is none to do here and the people are too stubborn to let us do anything. Darn them!

I'm going to bet that I have eaten more tortillas than all of you combined. I get them with every meal. I enjoy the food here. I may get fat because I get fed all the time. Everyone loves the missionaries, especially since I got here, just kidding. We get fed at like every visit and get offered rides all the time to places which rules! Of course, soccer might help me stay skinny because that's all they play here.

It look like we might be having two more baptisms this week one kid wants to serve a mission which is pretty much the sickest thing ever!!!!! he is a stud! I'm starting to study mam and quiche in my language study because I really want to learn them.

Well, Guatemala is the BOMB!!! I love it here even though it is getting hotter but for ya'll it's getting colder and colder. I miss you guys a ton especially since one elder is in his last change. He talks about Christmas with his family a lot so that can make you homesick. I get over it. Heck, I'm in Guatemala which pretty much is the coolest place ever. We have volcanoes and earthquakes. What more could you ask for? Oh, and we have the gospel which rules once again!

I hope you all enjoy the pictures. Sorry I'm a little scatter-brained. Love you all. Don't be afraid to send Dear Elders!
Hello!
We baked the brownies from the package. YUMMY

Workout Buddies.

Our newest investigator. He tried to run away but I caught him.
RAIN!!! Looks refreshing.

Just your average everyday ant.

Hanging out with the kids. The second boy on the left is getting baptized.


Want a ride? Catch a Tuc Tuc.

The soccer complex that we play in.
Love Elder Grant - the coolest dude to ever set his feet in Guate except Jesus because I'm pretty sure the Book of Mormon happened here!

Monday, November 5, 2012

We Had a Baptism!!!

We had a baptism!!!!!!!! and I baptized him!!!! and I'm definitely fat because those pants are a tad bit tight hahah. It was super fun. The guy is super hard working and this Thursday he is going to the temple for baptisms. He is pretty excited! I hope he keeps on working hard in the gospel. I can't wait to work in the temple when I get home. I love the temple. I am kinda mad at myself for not taking advantage of the temple when I was home. The temple is an amazing place and the one in Xela (Quetzaltenango) is amazing. I think Rexburg is amazing but for real Xela wins. I hope that maybe, when it comes time for me to go home, you can pick me up so you can go to it because they have it in English too and like five other Indian languages. But really it's beautiful!

So I love getting your emails. Of course it is the start of the week which makes it hard sometimes to focus on Sunday because I know I get to write you guys the next day. That is pretty much the most rad thing ever!!!!!! Hopefully this week I receive some more dear elders because those are pretty much the bomb too! Basically everything is the bomb when it is from home. Well I got a little baggy this week when I found out a family from here is going to go to school in West Jordan for 4 months. Then they asked me if my home was close. I said it was close like 5 hours from there and they said they want to visit little old po-dunk St. Anthony! I received a letter from a girl who I don't know but its fun to write her. She is the sister of an Hermana in the CCM. They are from Rexburg. Her name is Ashlynn Ahrendsen. That was just a fun little thing to receive from her.

I  have decided to write a list of things that remind me that I'm in Guate, like Ky.
1. poop all over the place
2. really really really big spiders! (I sent a pic)
3. spanish spanish spanish!
4. I never stop sweating.
5. Dogs here are dangerous.
6. Every window has bars on them.
7. There are no real windows.
8. Rice and beans. Rice and beans. Rice and beans. EVERY DAY!
9. my best friend here is a Mexican who only speaks Spanish.
10. I'm a minority.
11. I can't remember how pine trees smell!!!! :)
12. I NEVER get cold.
13. I haven't used a blanket.


Yesterday I had the most spiritual lesson ever. It was with the cousin of a family in our ward. She isn't a member but we asked her to pray in the end, after we taught the restoration. She started crying because she started asking Heavenly Father if her parents would let her get baptized because they won't even let missionaries over to her house. She lives in a different zone but I pray that she can get baptized. She says she feels the difference between her house and the house of her cousins because they have the gospel. That was super awesome!!!!

I've included pictures of the street I live on and a giant spider.

My street in San Isidro
Glowstick art from the package from home.

At Escol's baptism. What a happy day!
The view on my street. BEAUTIFUL!!! That's a volcano out there.

A giant spider. You can see its orangish bluish legs.


Con Amor,
Elder Grant


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hola Mi Familia

Primero que honda? First what's up? This week has been better. The others have been a little rough but my comp is finally starting to talk with people so they don't think we are two really stupid white kids in Guate.

     We started teaching a guy named Escol. Now the story of Escol has been quite interesting. He was the town drunk. He used to yell some pretty bad things to us as we passed by and I never figured I would teach him. Never because well it would have been impossible. But one day as we were passing to go to his sister's house, who is a less active member, he started talking to us and we told him about general conference and he came. Then after he started coming to church with us it has been cool. He said that conference hit him. The guy is super pilas with the bible but he was always wasted and didn't have a job or anything. Now he has a job and hasn't drunk for 4 weeks, coming up on 5. I  think he'll get baptized this week. He is progressing amazingly!

Other than that there isn't too much going on and unfortunately no earthquakes. They are super fun jaja. We contacted an area that has never seen missionaries. So tomorrow my comp and I are go up there and teach. The people are super nice up in the mountains and just chill. Plus we get to cross a river to get there. We have to jump rocks and stuff which is way fun. Today we moved a fridge. I love doing service because it means free food. After that we cut down some coconuts for us to eat which pretty much ruled! They are way better than the cocos in the states. These are sweet and totally delicious plus you can drink so much from it. I was filled then after we had a usual breakfast (desayuno) it was eggs, beans and tortillas like every single one I eat.

I got the package. Thank you but here's the problem. It was infested with ants because the candy wasn't in a bag. (We had used a giant bag of tootie frooties as packing material. Sounded good at the time.) But the Laffy Taffy was good and the jerky. Plus I loved the cards. I can't wait to make brownies but I need an oven first which nobody here uses. Every thing is fried or boiled. Thanks for the pictures, too. I can't send any right now because a member is borrowing my camera. I'll have it back for next week. I have a sweet picture.
I figure I'll answer some of your questions. We have a ward of 400+ but only about 150 attend. This week  we had 164 show up and 5 were investigators which is awesome! My house is a concrete box in and out except the inside has tile in it. Many people just work here. There isn't a main job, maybe tuc tucs but those are just little mototaxis. There is a school here called the Benson. It is named after Pres. Benson and the owner has missionaries go over all the time and teach or bear testimony in class. There are pictures everywhere of Jesus. That place pretty much rules! We played soccer finally today and holy cow it was hot I'm still sweating! I wouldn't mind some of your snow. Well in the cyber, that I'm in right now, I'm listening toThriller which is fun!
Well I hope this letter finds everyone well. I love you all!

Con amor,
Elder Grant

p.s. How is it getting all cold there and stuff? Because it's getting hotter here and with less rain to cool it down. ☻☺ Bye!!!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Howdy! Well another slow week. The whole mission is down. Umm well there are little earthquakes here and there but it isn't a big deal anymore after the first one. I'ts just a part of life here. I'm pretty much used to the rain now. I'm just always wet haha. I don't have too much to write except that I really wish I could speak Spanish right now. I can speak enough to impress any gringo in the states but it's still horrible.
 Oh weirdness here. People don't have a huge sense of privacy so people just nurse their kids right in front of you. It is definitely something that I'm still working on getting used too.

How were the pics of the temple? I hope you got them. Holy cow that thing is absolutely beautiful! Have fun with the nieve (snow). Speaking of marriage, a missionary in my area has a crush on Kenna. He says he's going to marry her. He's from Mexico. He is my zone leader and he's a stud. But he can't talk to her! ever! He doesn't speak English. jaja

I have a soccer game today with the members. Hey have you found the chapel in San Isidro yet? It's up towards the volcano on that road that has the giant church with the red and green roof. I live at the very end of the street there. I live basically in a garage and when the power was out we used candles that I bought. Dad, there are schools here and every kid gets an education. Yes mom, I have been eating. Basically all I eat is rice, beans, pollo and tortillas cada pinche dia. I can tell you I sure as heck miss hamburgers. I sent some pictures of a star fruit which by the way is not that tasty but the pink lady apples here are to die for. Those are my favorite food to buy!

Normally my mission flies by. Days are long (sometimes) but the weeks are short and the months are shorter. well I gotta get going my time is up here. but I promise next week I'll write something more but I will send some pictures of well, just stuff. haha  I love you all. I can't wait to hear from ya. Have a great week!!!!! Bye!!!!!!

Con amor,
Elder Grant Elder - Pretty much the coolest missionary in the world because he is serving in the best 
mission in the world!
Random Pic from the MTC with Elder Bonkemeyer and Elder Oertel

Overlooking beautiful San Isidro

Star fruit and Sweat 
Elder Grant and Elder Henderson at the SLC airport