We were able to talk to Collin on Christmas with a cell phone that he had borrowed from some members. We spoke for an hour and fifteen minutes. It was truly the best Christmas present EVER!!! All five of us just sat around and listened to him talk about how much he loves the people, the work, and the country. Yes, there are many different things there like garbage everywhere. People just throw things out on the street and so the garbage jut sits. To clean their apartment, they sweep the floor, open the garage door/wall, and push it out. How convenient! Another difference, it is VERY hot while we are experiencing our coldest temperatures. He talked about sitting outside his house because there isn't any ventilation inside which makes it even hotter.
We were able to hear him speak Spanish to a little girl that didn't want him speaking English. She didn't like not knowing what he was saying. She kept interrupting so he just walked down the street. He also has forgotten a few English words. That is a wonderful sign that the language is coming along. A couple times he spoke to a recent convert of theirs that has fallen back into his drunken state. Breaks Collin's heart. We also spoke to his companion, Elder Apaza, who didn't understand one thing we said and we didn't understand anything he said. That was kind of funny but we were able to experience, if only for a brief second, how Collin felt for weeks when he first entered the mission field.
He didn't want to talk much of home, which made us happy, because that meant he isn't thinking of home. He loves being on his mission. He loves his companion. They are having great success together. He was thrilled to tell us about a family that was being baptized this past Saturday. He loves them. There was a recent quote given in our Sacrament Meeting that went something like this, "A missionary gives up two years of his family to bring eternity to another." That is why he is in Guatemala. That is why we let him go.
Our phone call was truly a Christmas blessing. We cannot wait for Mother's Day to make the call again. Perhaps he will be somewhere that has a computer in the town, maybe even electricity - dare we even wish? Doesn't really matter. We just love to talk to him.